Okayama Shrine

Okayama Shrine

(Origin of Okayama)

Okayama Shrine is the main Shinto shrine in central Okayama City. First built in 860 A.D., Okayama Shrine was located where Okayama Castle now stands. This place was called “Okayama.” In 1573, when Feudal Lord Ukita started constructing the new castle, the shrine was relocated to its current location. The main and the front shrines were built by Ukita. The deity of Okayama Shrine was worshiped as the guardian of the castle during Lord Ikeda’s rule (1603 – 1868). In 1941, the roof of Okayama Shrine was retiled, the sanctuary was repaired, and offices were added. In 1945, during World WarⅡ, most of the buildings except for the shrine gate were burned down by air raids. After the devastating war, the main shrine was reconstructed in 1958. In 1975, the front shrine was added, and in 1988 the hall and the office were completed. Today, Okayama Shrine is revered and worshiped by many people as the deity of the city.

The Shrine Gate

The gate is one of the few original buildings that was built during the Edo Era(1603 – 1858) in Okayama. It was built in 1745 by the Feudal Lord, Tsugumasa Ikeda. It is designated as a historically important property of the city.


The main deity :

Yamato Totobi Momosohimeno Mikoto

The princess of Emperor Korei, the seventh Emperor, and also the sister of Kibituhiko (the model of Momotaro). According to legend, she had a strong psychic ability and wisdom, and she controlled an epidemic with prophecy.

Other Deities :

Yamato Takeruno Mikoto
Kibituhikono Mikoto
Takeyasubino Mikoto (Lord Mitsumasa Ikeda, the third lord of Okayama Domain)

Festivals and Events

January 1st
New Year's celebration
2nd Monday in January
Otsuna Matsuri
(Rope Dragon Festival)
February 3rd
(Bean throwing festival)
Mid April
The Spring Festival
(Praying for a good harvest and prosperity)
End of July
Chinowa Kuguri
(Pampas Grass Festival for purification)
Mid October
The Autum Festival
(Gratitude for the good harvest and prosperity)
Mid November
(The festival for children aged seven, five, and three)
End of December
Year End Purification

How to give a prayer at a Shinto shrine.

  1. Bow once before walking through the torii (shrine gate).
    Keep in mind that you are entering a sacred place.

  2. Purify your hands at the water pavilion(temizuya).

  3. Move forward to an offering box.
    Toss your offering softly into the box.

  4. Bow twice, clap twice, and then bow one more time.

  5. Proceed back down the stairs.
    Then you can go to the reception of the shrine office
    to purchase items, such as traditional amulets, or walk around the precinct.

Okayama Shrine
Guide Map