Ogamiyama-shrine Okunomiya (Ogamiyama Inner Shrine)

Tottori, Chugoku

A Gongen-style Grand Shrine Gongen-style sitting at the end of the longest approach in Japan

Since ancient times Mt. Daisen in Tottori has been called Okami-no-take (the mountain of gods) and worshiped by practitioners of Shugen-do who train their mind in the mountain. Near the top of the mountain, the magnificent shrine sits surrounded by nature with the aura of higher beings. Okumiya usually refers to a shrine pavilion within the main shrine but this Okumiya originates from a simple place for worship created by practitioners. Due to heavy snowfalls during the winter, a main shrine was built below the mountain, while the original shrine Okunomiya us used for rituals during the summer.

Ogamiyama Shrine Okunomiya has three distinctive features, which are top ranking in Japan. One is the longest approach to Okunomiya, a 700m-long natural flagstone path running through beeches and Japanese cedars. Second is the largest Gongen-style shrine with wings running 50 m long. A Gongen-style shrine is built by joining the main shrine and the front shrine with a building called Ishinoma. Okunomiya is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Third, it has one of the largest byakudan nuri works of Japan along its long corridor. Byakudan nuri is a special technique where raw lacquer is painted on top of silver foil, which creates gold color through a chemical reaction. There is no other specimen of technique of such beauty and scale.

Okunomiya also houses the Hakkaku-mikoshi (octagonal portable shrine) which has been too heavy to gather enough bearers for over 100 years since 1885. The portable shrine was repaired and restored in 2002.


1 Daisen, Daisen-cho, Tottori
0859-52-2502 (Daisen-cho Tourist Information Center)

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