Nakatombetsu Shrine - Hokkaido

Nakatombetsu Shrine (中頓別神社) is the main shrine of the town. It celebrates its annual holiday on July 23rd. It is located at 370-12 Nakatonbetsu, Nakatombetsu town in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan

Nakatombetsu Shrine (中頓別神社)

Nakatombetsu Shrine details

Nakatombetsu was once part of Tombetsu village, but on April 1, 1925, it broke away and became Nakatombetsu village. The history of the shrine can be traced back to 1902 when Taminosuke Suhara traveled to the region and then settled there after learning about the abundance of gold dust.

Nakatombetsu Shrine - Nakatombetsu town, Hokkaido Prefecture

The settlement rapidly grew after the completion of the railway in 1916, but because the people were unevenly scattered, the location of where the shrine would be established became an issue. The shrine's establishment was debated and it took years before they decided to establish it in its current location. Finally, on October 13, 1928, an application for the establishment was made, which was accepted a year later. With that, a smaller shrine was built which housed the deity Amaterasu Omikami.

Nakatombetsu Shrine main torii and secondary torii

Nakatombetsu Shrine main torii

Nakatombetsu Shrine

Nakatombetsu Shrine Main Hall


The current shrine structure of Nakatonbetsu Shrine was constructed in 1960. It was built using the Shinmei-zukuri architectural design. It currently has a total shrine area of 79.33 square meters.

Nakatombetsu Shrine stairs going up to the main shrine

Nakatombetsu Shrine chozuya

Loyalty Monument

Look how small the car is from the top of the stairs

At present, Nakatombetsu Shrine serves around 200 households and has the status of a village shrine.

Nakatombetsu Shrine Komainu

Nakatombetsu Shrine komainu

Nakatombetsu Shrine 3rd komainu

My family and I visited Nakatombetsu Shrine for the first time during the last day of our 5-day Drive Up North road trip last August 16, 2022. This was my 288th day here in Japan as an ALT under the JET ProgrammeThe shrine is located on top of a hill so it takes a bit of effort to reach it. Regardless, the shrine ground is surprisingly beautiful and looks as if it is one with nature. I love how the grass grew on the main path from the tori gate to the shrine. There was nothing much to do on the shrine grounds so we offered a simple prayer, made a wish, and headed our way.

Nakatonbetsu Shrine Entrance Fee

It’s FREE to enter and explore Nakatonbetsu Shrine grounds but if you are collecting goshuin then you should bring 3oo yen.

Nakatonbetsu Shrine Operating Hours

The shrine grounds are open 24/7. However, the best time to visit is in the morning as the shrine grounds are not well-lit at night. 

Why visit Nakatonbetsu Shrine?

Nakatonbetsu Shrine is the main shrine of the town of Nakatonbetsu. In a way, locals believe that the deity who is enshrined in Nakatonbetsu Shrine protects the town. Visiting it to pay respects and offer prayers is highly recommended.

Getting to Nakatonbetsu Shrine


Nakatombetsu Shrine can be reached by Soya Bus from Otoineppu Station on the JR Soya Main Line. The bus stops at the town of Nakatombetsu. From there, their shrine can be reached on foot.

Travel time: 50 – 60 minutes






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