Mashike Itsukushima Shrine - Hokkaido

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine (増毛郡総鎮守 厳島神社), located at 3 Chome-38 Inabacho, Mashike town, Hokkaido Prefecture, is one of the oldest temples in Hokkaido.

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine details


Mashike started as a small fishing community established by the Matsumae Clan during the Hoei era (1704 -1711). As the community grew, a seaside inn was established and along with it was the establishment of Mashike Itsukushima Shrine

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine - Mashike Town, Hokkaido Prefecture

As mentioned, Mashike Itsukushima Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Hokkaido. It serves as the guardian deity for the fishermen of the town. However, it was only in 1897 that the shrine was declared the town shrine and the main shrine of Mashike. With that, deities were housed in the shrine. These are the deities currently enshrined in Mashike Itsukushima Shrine: Ichikishimahime Mikoto, Ukemochi no Kami, Shinryu Uga no Mikoto, and Okunishi no Kami.

厳島神社 鳥居
Mashike Itsukushima Shrine torii gate

In 1999, Mashike Itsukushima Shrine was designated as the first tangible cultural property of Mashike. At present, the shrine is known for its Chinese lion statues and stone lanterns. It has a total land area of 135 square meters and serves around 1100 households. 

One of the komainu of Mashike Itsukushima Shrine

One of the ema in Mashike Itsukushima Shrine

I got to visit Mashike Itsukushima Shrine last April 10, 2022, which was my 160th day here in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. The shrine is one of the places that my ALT friends and I visited during our biking trip to Mashike, What I like about the shrine is its red color which reminds me of the samurai Yamahata Masakage and Ii Naomasa and their infamous red armor. 

増毛郡総鎮守 厳島神社
A panel explaining that the Main Hall of the Mashike Itsukushima Shrine is a designated Tangible Cultural Property

Sadly, during our visit, I was not able to get a goshuin as the shrine was closed. Regardless, my friends and I still explored the shrine grounds a little and admire the stone sculptures before proceeding to our next stop. 

Overall, I'm looking forward to revisiting the shrine again soon and hopefully getting a goshuin on my next visit.

Mashike Itsukushima Entrance Fee

It's FREE to enter and explore Mashike Itsukushima Shrine grounds.

Mashike Itsukushima Operating Hours

The Mashike Itsukushima Shrine ground is open 24/7

Why visit Mashike Itsukushima Shrine?

Each city or town in Japan has its main shrine that is believed to protect the locals. Usually, these shrines are well-adorned and look very different from each other. Such is the case for Mashike. Its red (some say vermilion) facade makes it stand out like a red samurai armor in a sea of black armor. Hence, you should see it in winter. 

If you are interested in history then you should visit this shrine. You would learn a thing or two about the rich history of the shrine and the town when you visit. Aside from that, you can also get your goshuin here for your collection.

Getting to Mashike Itsukushima Shrine

Commuting to Mashike became less convenient after the closure of the JR Mashike Line. Regardless, tourists can still ride the bus to Mashike from Rumoi City. 

Here's the timetable, fare, and bus stops of the Engan Bus that plies the Mashike route and back.




Overall rating


  1. That's one beautiful looking shrine!

    1. I agree with you. Mashike Itsukushima Shrine is really beautiful.

  2. If I'm not mistaken that architectural design is called Karahafu-zukuri.

    1. That's right. You know a lot about shrine architecture. Nice!


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