Uryu Shrine - Hokkaido

Uryu Shrine (雨龍神社) is the main shrine of the town of Uryu. It is located at 32 Masu, in the town of Uryu in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. The shrine has a long and interesting history that is closely tied to the local community. Its annual holiday is September 15th.

Uryu Shrine

Uryu Shrine details

Uryu Shrine was established in 1899 when the present-day Uryu was being reclaimed. It was built using the Shinmei-zukuri architectural design in what was then Toda Farm. On September 27, 1894, the shrine was transferred to its present-day location. On April 4, 1881, it was given formal recognition. In 1914, Matsudaira Yasunaga, the progenitor of the Toda family who rebuilt the Toda farm, was made a deity of the shrine, and the primary goddess was given the name Amaterasu-Omikami. The status of Uryu Shrine was changed into a Gosha in 1919. This status means that Uryu Shrine is ranked below the prefectural shrine and above the village shrine.

Uryu Shrine - Uryu town, Hokkaido Prefecture

Over the centuries, Uryu Shrine remained an important spiritual center for the people of the region. It was often visited by samurai and other important figures who sought the blessings of the gods for their battles and wars.

Uryu Shrine torii

The pathway that leads to the Main Hall

Uryu Shrine chozuya

The chozuya up close

The History of Uryu Shrine

During the Meiji period (1868-1912), Japan underwent a major transformation under the influence of Western civilization. Many traditional religious practices were abandoned or suppressed during this time, and the power and influence of shrines like Uryu declined.

The Main Hall of Uryu Shrine

However, in the aftermath of World War II, there was a renewed interest in traditional Japanese culture and spirituality. Uryu Shrine and many other shrines throughout Japan experienced a resurgence in popularity during this time.

Monuments on Uryu Shrine grounds

Uryu-cho Victims Honoring Monument

Today, Uryu Shrine is a popular destination for visitors who come to pray for good fortune, health, and happiness. The shrine hosts many festivals and events throughout the year, including the annual Uryu Shrine Festival, which attracts thousands of people from around the region.

Uryu Shrine komainu statues

Uryu shrine has two sets of komainu statues. You can see them in these pictures:

At present, Uryu Shrine has a total shrine area of 116 square meters and is currently serving about 850 households. It also houses the shrine treasure the Sword (designated by the town as, the “God sword made by Toshicho, the guardian of Fujiwara Yamashiro'').

Team Nicerio visits Uryu Shrine

My family and I visited Uryu Shrine for the first time during our road trip last August 27, 2022, which was my 43rd weekend here in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. The shrine was our second destination for the day and like what my daughter and I would always do when we visit a shrine, we offered our prayers and paid our respect before making a wish.

Uryu Shrine Entrance Fee

It’s FREE to enter and explore Uryu Shrine grounds.

Uryu Shrine Operating Hours

Uryu Shrine grounds are open 24/7. However, the shrine office is open from 9 AM to 4 PM.

Why visit Uryu Shrine?

Uryu Shrine is the main shrine of the town of Uryu. Most of the townspeople would go to the shrine grounds during the New Year and also during the shrine festival. You should visit it if you are collecting goshuin or shrine stamps. What I enjoyed about the shrine is that it reminds you about being one with nature because despite being surrounded by a gold course and a school on one side, there are still numerous tall trees around the shrine that gives it a feel that it is in a forest. It’s a nice place to visit if you want some quiet time.

Getting to Uryu Shrine:

From Sapporo or Asahikawa, ride the train going to JR Ebeotsu Station. Uryu Shrine is about 1 hour and 11 minutes walk from JR Ebeotsu Station.




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