Sunagawa Shrine - Hokkaido

Sunagawa Shrine (砂川神社) is the main shrine of Sunagawa City. It is located at 4 chome-3-12 Higashi 5 Jominami, Sunagawa City in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

Sunagawa Shrine

Sunagawa Shrine details

Sunagawa Shrine holds a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. Situated at 161 Minamihoncho, Sunagawa-cho, this sacred site has been a significant part of the local community for over a century.

Sunagawa Shrine - Sunagawa City, Hokkaido Prefecture

The shrine was originally established in 1889 by Shozo Ito and a group of individuals. They chose a high hill in Sunagawa, where they built a wooden sign and enshrined Miyoshi Shrine. The following year, the residents proposed to make the Daijingu shrine their tutelary deity, and in 1897, it became known as Daijingu Yohaisho. Afterward, in 1900, Benzui Haruta and Seiichi Yamaguchi, among others, applied to establish a new shrine, and it was then named Nae Shrine in the following year.

Sunagawa Shrine main torii

In 1939, the shrine underwent significant changes. Its location was relocated, and the land attached to the precincts was put up for sale. With these transformations, the shrine was renamed Sunagawa Shrine, a name that still stands today. Notably, the shrine was completed in January 1908 and achieved the status of a village shrine in September 1914, making it a Shinsen Heihaku-designated shrine.

Things to see on Sunagawa Shrine grounds

Sunagawa Shrine chozuya

Sunagawa Shrine chozubachi

Mizumatsu Memorial Protected Tree (砂川神社の水松記念保護樹木)

Over the years, the Sunagawa Shrine has experienced various renovations and reconstructions. In 1927, construction began on a major renovation, which was successfully completed by October 1928. Following this, in 1929, the enshrined area was adjusted, accommodating 2,595 parishioners. By 1930, the shrine was officially designated as a village shrine and became a Shinsen Heihaku Kushin shrine.

Sunagawa Shrine Main Hall

Unfortunately, in April 1961, a disastrous fire destroyed the main worship hall. However, the community rallied together and embarked on a reconstruction and renovation project. By July 1966, the shrine proudly held a construction ceremony, signifying its revival. During this period, efforts were made to enhance the shrine's surroundings, such as maintaining the approach to the precincts and planting trees. As a testament to its resilience, a large torii gate was erected in August 1970, commemorating the 80th anniversary of the shrine's enshrinement.

Sunagawa Shrine komainu

Sunagawa Shrine komainu

Sunagawa Shrine un-gyo

Sunagawa Shrine a-gyo

Today, the Sunagawa Shrine stands proudly as a prefectural shrine, serving approximately 8,000 households. It is revered for its architectural design, known as Shinmei-zukuri, which is characterized by its simple yet elegant style. Within its sacred grounds, the shrine enshrines three deities: Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess; Toyouke Hime no Mikoto, the goddess of agriculture; and Okuninushi Mikoto, known as a deity of nation-building and relationships.

Team Nicerio visits Sunagawa Shrine

My family and I visited Sunagawa Shrine for the first time last September 11, 2022, as part of our September 9-11 Road Trip. It was my 314th day in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. We visited Sunagawa Shrine as part of our tradition of going to the main shrines of a municipality that we visited for the first time. During our visit, we offered a prayer and also made some wishes. Hopefully, they would come true.

Sunagawa Shrine entrance fee:

It’s FREE to enter and explore Sunagawa Shrine

Sunagawa Shrine Operating Hours

Sunagawa Shrine grounds are open 24/7.

Why visit Sunagawa Shrine?

Sunagawa Shrine is one of the best places to go in Sunagawa City if you want quiet in the heart of the city. If you’re lucky you’d hear the chirping birds and cicadas. If you collect goshuin then head to the monk’s house which is located on the shrine grounds.

Getting to Sunagawa Shrine


From Takikawa Station, walk towards the Takikawa Eki Mae bus stop. Ride the Utashinai Line of the Chuo Bus company and board down at the Sunagawa Jinja Mae bus stop. Sunagawa Shrine is about 260 meters away.

Travel time: 27 minutes
Fare: 390 yen




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