Center of Japan: Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja

Date: 30th June 2018

On my way back from Bessho Onsen on the Ueda Dentetsu Line, I alighted at Shimonogo Station to explore Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja (生島足島神社), said to be in the geographical center of Japan. The shrine worships Ikushima-no-okami, the Shinto God of Fertility and Vitality, and Tarushima-no-okami, the Shinto God of Fulfilment since the 9th century. It is also said that this shrine houses the souls of the entire of Japan.

Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja seen from afar

Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja is easily recognizable by its vermillion coloured architectures, and the lake surrounding the shrine.  The Honden (main shrine) is located on a small island surrounded by a pond “kami-ike”, and boasts one of the oldest architectural styles in Japan. Behind the shrine is the inner shrine, constructed during the Muromachi period and enshrines the earthen ground as its deity (goshintai).



There is a pair of 800-year old Zelkova trees in the shrine grounds, called “husband and wife trees”, where married couples pray to for happy marital relationship and fertility.


Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja is a popular shrine for a number of ceremonies, so be sure to check out their official website for closing times to accommodate to these ceremonies.



Smaller shrines scattered outside the main shrine grounds


Official Website

Always Open, except during ceremonies (check the official website for details)


Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja is a 5-mins, 400m walk from Shimonogo Station on the Ueda Dentetsu Line. Shimonogo Station is a 15 mins, 370 yen ride on the Ueda Dentetsu Line from Ueda Station. Check timings in advance as there are only about 2 departures per hour.



6 thoughts on “Center of Japan: Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja

  1. Hi,Jeniffer
    Thank you for sharing beautiful picture with beautiful writing. I enjoy reading your description about Japan in English language.
    Thanks for many likes on my post on new blog. I am right now working for moving the blog, and worrying about too many notice has sent to you sine I am doing pending, publishing things..Sorry if it annoys you. If so, can you change setting for not recieving notice mail or so ? Thank you for understanding.
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    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: November’s Blogsphere Highlights #1 (2018) | BiblioNyan

  3. Pingback: Final Resting Place of Izanagi: Izanagi Shrine – Japan's Wonders

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