Mashike Itsukushima Shrine Revisited 2022

I had the opportunity to visit Mashike Itsukushima Shrine (増毛郡総鎮守 厳島神社) for the first time during my Mashike Biking Trip on April 10, 2022, accompanied by my ALT friends. Later, on September 3, 2022, during our Mashike Road Trip, I had the pleasure of revisiting the Mashike Itsukushima Shrine with my family. This visit marked my 306th day in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme.

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine Revisited 2022

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine details


Mashike Itsukushima Shrine is a remarkable architectural marvel that dates back to the Hoei period (1704-1711). It is located at 3 Chome−38, Inabacho, in the town of Mashike in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

増毛郡総鎮守 厳島神社
Mashike Itsukushima Shrine - Mashike town, Hokkaido Prefecture

This shrine is renowned for its distinctive Karahafu-zukuri architectural style, characterized by its gracefully curved gables adorning the roof. Its captivating history is intertwined with the fishing grounds of the Matsumae clan and their vassal Kokuheidayu. On behalf of Shimokokuheidayu, a merchant named Murayama Denbei established Ungaiya and enshrined Itsukushima Shrine as the protective deity.

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine torii gate

Throughout the years, the Date clan assumed control and oversight of the shrine, eventually culminating in the enshrinement of Ichikishima Hime no Mikoto in Aki Province, a deity revered by the clan. The shrine underwent reconstruction during the early years of the Bunkyu era and remained a place of worship throughout the Meiji period. In fact, the Kaitakushi designated the shrine as a village shrine and enshrined the divine spirit within.

One of the monuments in Mashike Itsukushima Shrine grounds

This is where you would hang the ema or prayer boards

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine Mikoshi (portable shrine)

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine chozuya

In 1909, the shrine was relocated and fully restored, receiving recognition as a 100-year-old archaeological site by the prefectural governor in 1967. Additionally, the main hall was designated as Mashike Town Tangible Cultural Property No. 1 in 1990. The enshrined deity has a fascinating history and was established by merging Miyoshi Shrine Omi no Takakami and Kohikona no Kami in 1996.

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine Main Hall

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine Komainu 

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine komainu statues 1

Mashike Itsukushima Shrine komainu statues 2

A lone mini a-gyo komainu

Visitors have the opportunity to explore the awe-inspiring Mashike Itsukushima Shrine and admire its grandeur, which includes the striking curved gables and intricate architectural details. The shrine is surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil surroundings, creating an idyllic atmosphere for a leisurely stroll.

Team Nicerio visits Mashike Itsukushima Shrine

To fully grasp the essence of the shrine, it is recommended to visit it during one of its traditional festivals or ceremonies. These events are steeped in history and often feature captivating dance performances, melodic music, and delectable traditional Japanese cuisine.

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?

In conclusion, the Mashike Itsukushima Shrine is a historical treasure that should be included in the itinerary of any aficionado of culture and history. If you're collecting goshuin, then you should include this shrine in your itinerary.

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 are the timetable, fare, and bus stops of the Engan Bus that ply the Mashike route and back.




Overall rating


  1. Amazing pictures Neil. I always check your shrine and temple articles just to see the photos. More power to you!


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