Aibetsu Shrine - Hokkaido

Aibetsu Shrine (愛別神社) is the main shrine of the town of Aibetsu. It is located at 348 Kita-cho, in the town of Aibetsu in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. It celebrates its annual holiday every 25th of June.

Aibetsu Shrine

Aibetsu Shrine details

Aibetsu Shrine is a historical site that has stood the test of time since its first construction in 1895. This shrine was built on Mount Horai to pay tribute to the birthplace god of Aibetsu Village and later became known as Kumano Shrine. In 1914, it received a branch spirit from the Prefectural Shrine in Tanabe-cho, Wakayama, and was given its current name, Aibetsu Shrine.

Aibetsu Shrine - Aibetsu town, Hokkaido Prefecture

Over the years, the shrine has undergone several renovations and upgrades, and in 1931 Aibetsu Shrine was designated as a Shinsen Heihaku Ryokushin Shrine. This further solidified its importance and status in the community. In 1953, it officially became a religious corporation and has been serving as a spiritual center for locals and tourists alike ever since.


One of Aibetsu Shrine's torii

Things to see in Aibetsu Shrine grounds

Aibetsu Shrine's chozuya

One of the most notable features of the Aibetsu Shrine is the Tamagaki, a fence that encloses the sacred grounds and helps to maintain the precincts of the shrine. Additionally, in 1993, a large torii gate was erected to commemorate the marriage of His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, a symbol of the shrine's historical significance and ongoing relevance.

Aibetsu Shrine Main Hall

Aibetsu Shrine Komainu

Aibetsu Shrine's komainu

Aibetsu Shrine's a-gyo

Aibetsu Shrine's un-gyo

At present, Aibetsu Shrine houses the following deities: AmaterasuOmikami Ame no Oshihomimi no MikotoNinigi no MikotoHohodemi no MikotoUgayafukiaezu no MikotoHomusubi no KamiMizuhanome no KamiHaniyamahimeWakusuhi no KamiMusubi no Kami (Ame no Tajikara Okami), and Hayatama no Kami (Kotosaka no Kami). Aibetsu Shrine has a total shrine area of 137 square meters and is currently serving 1,500 households.

Team Nicerio visits the Aibetsu Shrine

My family and I visited Aibetsu Shrine for the first time last September 17, 2022, during our 3-day Respect for the Aged Day road trip. It was my 320th day in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. As part of our family tradition of visiting any religious building for the first time, we paid our respects and offered a prayer. What I like about Aibetsu Shrine is its atmosphere. The precincts and surrounding forests are designated as the Horai Environmental Green Conservation Area and if you take time to take it all in, you’ll hear the birds and insects sing. It’s also a bit cooler here so it’s relaxing to stroll around.

Aibetsu Shrine Fees

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

Aibetsu Shrine Operating Hours

The shrine grounds are open 24/7. However, like most shrines, the shrine office is open from 9 AM to 4 PM only.

Why visit Aibetsu Shrine?

Today, Aibetsu Shrine stands as a testament to its rich cultural heritage and longstanding history. It might not be a popular tourist attraction but it is a great place to stroll through the tranquil grounds while admiring the architecture of the shrine. Aside from this, you should include this shrine if you collect goshuin. If you're planning a trip to Hokkaido, be sure to add Aibetsu Shrine. 

Getting to Aibetsu Shrine


From Asahikawa Station, walk to 1-Jo 8-Chome bus stop and ride Dohoku bus #71 (Aibetsu Line (Nagayama)). Board down at the Aibetubashi Bridge bus stop and walk for about 400 meters going to Aibetsu Shrine.

Travel time: 1 hour and 4 minutes
Fare: 710 yen




Overall rating


  1. The dog statues of Aibetsu Shrine looks funny.

    1. The komainu here do look funny especially the a-gyo. I love it.


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