Yutoku Inari, northern Kyushu's most beautiful shrine

5:02 AM Béné (ベネ) 0 Comments

It is time to finish the story of my day in Saga !
I stopped my article when I was in Takeo Onsen while I was going to take the bus to a mystery location ... I was actually off to the Yutoku Inari shrine, a beautiful place that was the highlight of the day.

Prédiction omikuji devant le sanctuaire Yûtoku Inari
Prédiction omikuji devant le sanctuaire Yûtoku Inari

Comfortably sitted in the old-fashionned bus, I looked at Saga's rice fields which were spreading out before my eyes. Soon, the few travelers who accompanied me got off and I found myself alone to chat with the driver. He dropped me off while telling me to come back at a certain time for the bus back.
I walked in the shopping street, looking for Hello Kitty regional socks but I couldn't find anything. I still have to find Saga's one to complete Kyushu ! Where can I find them ?
I quickly arrived at the entrance which immediatly captivated me : a large door, a pond filled with carps, wisteria, manicured trees and basically the sanctuary that dominates everything. It was beautiful and I fall in love with it.

Entrée du Yûtoku Inari, Saga
Yutoku Inari entrance
Glycines au Yûtoku Inari, Saga
Pretty wisteria
TheYutoku Inari shrine, is one of three main Inari shrines in Japan with the famous Fushimi Inari in Kyoto and the Toyokawa Inari near Nagoya (Inari is a Japanese Shinto deity symbolized by a fox). Yutoku Inari which was founded in 1687, is located in Kashima city and its characteristic is to be built on terraces on the side of a mountain : this is what gives it its charm . The main building, richly decorated and surrounded by a multitude of small shrines, including one super cute dedicated to love is at the top of a flight of stairs (there is also an elevator) . Pictures didn't turn well : the place is much more beautiful.

Yûtoku Inari, Saga

Yûtoku Inari, Saga

Yûtoku Inari, Saga

Yûtoku Inari, Saga

Yûtoku Inari, Saga

Yûtoku Inari, Saga

There was a small path on the right side of the shrine. As I'm always ready to explore every detail of a place I go to, I just walked in for a while before I discovered a hundred red toriis. Each new turn offered a new view: sometimes facing the mountain, sometimes the roofs of buildings.
I stand before a series of steps lined with many small shrines sheltering fox statues. If I doubted again, this is not the case anymore, I's really in a Inari Shrine! I begin to climb with a man at my side and I think neither of us expected it to be so hard! The stones were slippery because of the rain and I slipped several times Somehow and after many grimaces as the climb was arduous, I arrived at the summit to discover a stunning view of the surrounding : I even could distinguish the  Ariake sea half hidden in the smog. My eyes was also attracted by the many azaleas blooming on the oppositehill side. I was glad I persevered to reach the top!

Chemin de torii, Yûtoku Inari, Saga
Torii path
En haut du Yûtoku Inari, Saga
At the top
Vue depuis le haut du Yûtoku Inari, Saga
The stunning view
After a slippery descent, as tricky as the climb, I finished my visit to the waterfront  feeding the carps and then in the Japanese garden where were displayed many large peonies. Then I went to the mountain where I had seen the azaleas few minutes ago. Having already climbed much that day and not being so so full of energy, I quickly abandoned the climb and came away toward the bus stop. Then I took a train to Fukuoka, without even stopping to buy Saga my Hello Kitty socks or going to the 3rd  place I had planned : I was too tired. I fell asleep on the train head full of pretty pictures. I'll go again for sure.

Jardin japonais, Yûtoku inari, Saga
Japanese garden
Rivière et sanctuaire Yûtoku Inari, Saga
Nice river. It must be nice at summer
Jardin d'azalées, Yûtoku inari, Saga
Azaela garden
Manekinoko dans une boutique de souvenirs, Yûtoku inari, Saga
Manekineko
Yutoku Inari is fantastic. This is for me the most beautiful shrine in northern Kyushu and in my top 5 of the most beautiful one I went in whole Japan. I even called this article Yutoku Inari, the most beautiful shrine in Kyushu but luckily I remembered in time the Udo shrine in Miyazaki.
It is a place worth visiting, whether as a side trip from a location or on the way to Nagasaki. If I had to advise one place in Saga, this would be it without any hesitation.

Access and useful informations

Yutoku Inari shrine (祐徳稲荷神社)

Adress :
1855 Furueda-otsu, Kashima-shi, Saga

Price :
Free;
200 yens for the garden;
300 yens for the museum.

Access from Fukuoka :
From Hakata station, take the  Kamome line and get off at Hizen-Kashima (1 hour for 2580 yens). Then, take the Yutoku bus and get off at Yutoku Inari (15 minutes for 320 yens)

▸  Home page (japanese)

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