Sights to See

Kinomiya Shrine, in the city of Atami in Shizuoka prefecture, is known for a unique ritual.

It is said that if you go around the shrine’s “okusu”, a giant camphor tree that is over 2,000 years old, your lifespan will increase by one year.

Take a stop at Kinomiya Shrine to pray for longevity and health.

History of Kinomiya Shrine

Although the exact date of construction is unknown, the shrine is said to be made around 710.

According to legend, when a fishing net was thrown into the Atami Bay, a wooden statue of a deity was caught. A child appeared and ordered the statue to be placed by a camphor tree, and that is where the shrine is said to be today.

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, a warrior during the Heian period (794 - 1185), is said to have prayed at this shrine before his battles. He prayed to the shrine wherever he was in the country.

Currently, there are 44 Kinomiya Shrines throughout Japan. The one here in Atami is the main Kinomiya Shrine.

The 2000 year old camphor

The “okusu”, or big camphor tree

The “okusu”, or big camphor tree, is undoubtedly the most popular site at Kinomiya Shrine. The tree is about 2000 years old, and measures 26 meters tall with its trunk measuring 23.9 meters in diameter.

The tree is designated as a national natural property, and is the second largest camphor tree in Japan!

The “okusu”

There are two legends about the “okusu”. The first is that your lifespan will expand one year if you circle the tree. The second is that your wish will come true if you think about it as you circle the tree.

Next to the camphor is a resting place, called the Okusu-goshiki-no-mori. On sunny days between 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m., you can enjoy tea and snacks here.

Second “okusu”

Second “okusu”

Next to the shrine approach is the second “okusu”. This camphor is around 1,300 years old.

It was struck by lightning about 300 years ago, and the inside of the trunk was hollowed out by it. Still, the tree is covered in plants and greenery, and stands strong today.

Prayer hall

Prayer hall at Kinomiya Shrine

Kinomi Shrine’s prayer hall is a beautiful vermillion color.

In front of the shrine, a heart shape is created with the fallen leaves. The priests and priestesses make this, and is a traditional Japanese shape called “inome (猪目)”. It is said to ward off bad luck and bring in good luck.

On the prayer hall, too, are some heart shapes here and there. Keep your eyes peeled and try to find them!


On the shrine grounds, you can find three setsumatsusha, or smaller shrines. They are under the management of a larger shrine and usually locate inside or outside (but very near) the larger shrine.

Kinomiya Inari Shrine

Kinomiya Inari Shrine

Kinomiya Inari Shrine is one of the setsumatsusha of Kinomiya Shrine. It has received a direct blessing from Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.

The deity of food and life are enshrined here. You can pray for a successful harvest, household safety and business prosperity.

Kinomiya Benzaiten 

Kinomiya Benzaiten

It is said that a feudal warrior of the Tokugawa family visited this setsumatsusha, Kinomiya Benzaiten, and was later promoted and succeeded in his career.

Because of that, this setsumatsusha is said to help visitors succeed in their jobs.

Mitsumine Shrine

Mitsumine Shrine is said to have been built by Yamato Takeru, an ancient legendary figure. There is a Mitsumine Shrine in Saitama prefecture, and the one there blessed and officiated the one in Kinomiya.

The yama-inu, a legendary dog-like creature, is enshrined here. During the Edo period, the yama-inu was said to protect crops, but today it is said to prevent catastrophes and theft.


Here are some of the events held at Kinomiya Shrine throughout the year.

Kogashi Festival (Jul.)

Kogashi Festival is the shrine’s largest festival, held annually from July 14 to 16. Nearby towns make their own original floats and carved wooden statues for this day. Over 30 floats are paraded throughout the town.

On the final day of the festival, the “gohoren-hamaori” is held, where 42-year old men (considered to be in bad luck) carry the “gohoren”, a float, out into the sea.


Nearest station: Kinomiya Station

From Tokyo Station

【Tokyo Sta.】Tokaido Shinkansen / for Nagoya
→【Atami Sta.】JR Ito Line / for Izukyu-Shimoda
→【Kinomiya Sta.】→ about a 5-minute walk

From Shizuoka Station

【Shizuoka Sta.】Tokaido Shinkansen / for Tokyo
→【Atami Sta.】JR Ito Line / for Izukyu-Shimoda
→【Kinomiya Sta.】→ about a 5-minute walk

From Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport

【Shizuoka Airport Sta.】Airport Bus / for Shizuoka
→【Shizuoka Sta.】Tokaido Shinkansen / for Tokyo
→【Atami Sta.】JR Ito Line / for Izukyu-Shimoda
→【Kinomiya Sta.】→ about a 5-minute walk

Don’t miss the light-up event!

Every night from sunset to 11p.m., a light-up event is held at Kinomiya Shrine. 160 LED lights are lit up throughout the shrine grounds. Don’t miss this beautiful, dreamy sight at Kinomiya Shrine!


43-1, Nishiyama-cho, Atami-shi, Shizuoka
Open all day
Open year-round

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