Utashinai Shrine - Hokkaido

Utashinai Shrine (歌志内神社) is the main shrine of Utashinai City. It is located at the top of Utashinai Park at 210 Honcho, Utashinai City in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

Utashinai Shrine

Utashinai Shrine Details

Utashinai Shrine has a rich history, with its establishment dating back to April 12, 1900. Since then, it has undergone several transformations, including the approval as Mukakusha on March 31, 1902, and the designation as a Shinsen Heihaku Ryokushin Shrine on October 23, 1999.

Utashinai Shrine - Utashinai City, Hokkaido Prefecture

The shrine has a unique origin, having been founded by six people, Soyo Yoneda, Tatsuji Sano, Matsutaro Kino, Yasuharu Okubo, Iwataro Suzuki, and Saori Nakayama. These individuals came together to honor Mizunami no Maijin, an enshrined deity with a history of being merged. The deity has since become an important part of the shrine's identity and history.

Utashinai Shrine grounds


Utashinai Park guide map

The dirt road trail from Utashinai Library going to Utashinai Shrine

Utashinai Shrine's torii

Utashinai Shrine's chozuya

Monument of Loyalty

One of the most noticeable features of the Utashinai Shrine is its Shinmei-zukuri architectural style. This traditional style is characterized by a simple but elegant design. The shrine's building has a total area of 103.1 square meters and was constructed between August 3, 1997, and September 27 of the same year. On November 16, 1928, it became a religious corporation. In October 1982, the shrine office underwent renovation.

Utashinai Shrine Main Hall

The Utashinai Shrine celebrates its annual holiday on May 12, attracting visitors from all over Japan and around the world. The festival is a delightful sight to behold, with many locals coming to join in the festivities and show their respects to the enshrined deities.

Utashinai Shrine Komainu

Utashinai Shrine komainu (near the library)

Utashinai Shrine komainu (near the Main Hall)

Smaller komainu (nearest the Main Hall)

Currently, the Utashinai Shrine serves around 1200 households, providing them with a sense of community and a place to come together and celebrate. Overall, the shrine is a symbol of Japanese history and culture and a testament to the resilience and perseverance of the people of Utashinai.

Team Nicerio visits Utashinai Shrine

My family and I visited Utashinai 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. I included Utashinai Shrine in our itinerary as my daughter and I have a tradition of visiting the main shrines of each municipality that we visit to pay respects and also offer some prayers.

Utashinai Shrine Fees

It’s FREE to enter and explore Utashinai Shrine. Parking is also FREE.

Utashinai Shrine Operating Hours

Utashinai Shrine is open from 9 AM to 4 PM.

Why visit Utashinai Shrine?

Utashinai Shrine is the main shrine of Utashinai. It’s a good place to go if you want to pay respect to the town’s guardians/protectors. You can also get a goshuin here but it is already prewritten. All you need to do is “donate” and you can get a copy of the goshuin as the shrine priest isn’t always available. However, keep in mind that this shrine is on top of Utashinai Park. It means that you need to park at the Utashinai Library and then follow the manmade steps going up the park. There is a small road that you can access nearby but the road was already overtaken by foliage when we visited so we decided to hike up to the shrine instead.

Getting to Utashinai Shrine

From Takikawa Station walk towards Takikawa Eki Mae bus stop and ride the Utashinai Sen Route of the Chuo bus line. Board down at Utashinai Shigai bus top. From there, walk for about 400 meters to Utashinai Shrine. 

Travel time: 1 hour and 6 minutes
Fare: 740 yen




Overall rating


  1. How many shrines have you already visited, Neil? I see that you've been around Hokkaido already.

    1. Hi there, my family and I have been to more than 150 shrines in Hokkaido now. =)

  2. I hope they improve the chozuya of Utashinai Shrine.

    1. True! To be honest, there are a lot of shrines with chozuya that needs to be improved. Many of them doesn't have water anymore.


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