Kehi Jingu Shrine is a power spot where the Divine Seven converge! Let's attract good luck!

Publication date:2024.04.30 / Update Date:2024.04.30

Better Fortune
Kehi Jingu Shrine is a power spot where the Divine Seven converge! Let's attract good luck!

Kehi Jingu Shrine, located in the center of Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture, is the oldest shrine in Echizen Province with a long history. It is mentioned in the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) and the Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), and enshrines seven deities. It is said to be a power spot and a place of many blessings, and is nicknamed "Keisan" by the locals. Why not take a moment to reflect on yourself in the tranquility and use it as a stepping stone to attract good fortune?

We spoke to ......

Hiroaki Kuwahara, Chief Priest of Kehi Jingu Shrine
A graduate of Kokugakuin School of Shinto Studies, he has been serving at Kehi Jingu as a priest since 2019.

A grand gate befitting the Echizen Province's first shrine and the Hokuriku Province's general guardian welcomes you.

Ichinomiya" in Echizen Province refers to the shrine with the highest shrine rank in the area among the shiki-nai-sha*1. Furthermore, Kehi Jingu is also the "general guardian of the Hokuriku Province.
1 Shrines with a long history, named in the Engishiki Jinmeicho (Engi Shiki Shinmeicho) compiled in 927. Among these shrines, Ichinomiya was designated as one shrine per province (an administrative division at that time), and even today, trips to pay homage to Ichinomiya shrines in various regions and collect red seals are popular.

When Kehi Jingu was founded in 702, the entire Japanese archipelago as we know it today was not yet known. The direction to the north was often unknown. Tsuruga was the mouth of the road to Hokuriku-do (Hokuriku region), and I think it was meant to be a guardian deity of the north. (Mr.Kuwahara)

The symbol of Kehi Jingu is the magnificent 10.9 meter high Otorii (Grand Gate). Its vermilion color stands out against the blue sky and green of the trees, giving it an overwhelming presence. The Otorii was built in the Edo period (1645) and is one of the three largest wooden torii gates in Japan, along with Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara and Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima.

Floats line up in front of the Otorii Gate, Kehi Long Festival (Keisan Matsuri)

The Otorii (Grand Gate) of Kehi Jingu Shrine, built at such an important location, is a symbol of the town's prosperity.

It is so beloved by the citizens of Fukui Prefecture that they can recognize it as Kehi Jingu just by looking at a picture of the torii gate. (Mr.Kuwahara).

Kehi Jingu Shrine holds many festivals in each of the four seasons. In particular, the Keisan Matsuri, a long festival that begins with Yoimiya Matsuri on September 2 and continues until the Tsuknamino Matsuri on September 15, is a big event that attracts many worshippers from various prefectures. The festival is especially spectacular on September 4, when a parade of floats is held in front of the Otorii (Grand Gate).
The top of the float is a dynamic reproduction of a battle scene from the Warring States period. Life-size dolls wearing authentic Noh masks and armor are displayed along with horses. Dozens of golden Mikoshi (portable shrines) are carried in a parade in front of the torii (gate), a spectacular sight! The children's dance dedication amidst the flutes and drums is also a spectacular sight to behold.

There used to be more than 50 floats, which would have rivaled the Gion Festival in Kyoto. Unfortunately, they were destroyed in an air raid in Tsuruga in 1945, and only 3 floats remained. Now, with the addition of 3 new ones, 6 floats are used to enliven the festival. The precincts of the shrine and the shopping street in front of the shrine are lined with many open-air vendors, making it a very lively festival. (Mr.Kuwahara)

Receive power at the place where the Divine Seven converge.

The main deity of Kehi Jingu (Kehi Daijin) is Izasawake-no-Mikoto. The shrine also enshrines seven other deities: Emperor Chuai, Empress Jingu, Emperor Ojin, Prince Yamatotakeru, Princess Tamahime, and Takenouchi no Sukune. The names of the deities include emperors, empresses, and chief vassals famous in the Kojiki and other Japanese history books.

There are not many shrines with many names of emperors of high rank in a single headquarters. The shrine was enshrined together by the order of Emperor Monmu, which shows the deep connection with the emperor family and the importance of this area. (Mr.Kuwahara)

The main deity for safety of the sea and abundant food

The main deity, Izasawake-no-Mikoto, also known as Kehi-no-Ookami or Miketsu-Ookami, is a deity symbolizing abundant food. He watches over us so that we will be safe and prosperous in all aspects of our lives.

Izasawake-no-Mikoto is also the deity who protects the safety of the sea. Since Kehi Jingu Shrine is located near a harbor, people have prayed for safe voyages and big catches of fish since ancient times.

In the old days, voyages to the continent were literally risking one’s life, and everyone prayed before boarding the ship. Some Tang Dynasty envoys used this place as their departure point, and conversely, people came from the continent. The "Bokkaishi," or envoys from the country of Balhae*2, brought various cultural relics to Japan.

The chief priest of Kibi Jingu Shrine managed a guest house called Matsubara Kyakukan, which welcomed the Bokkai emissaries. (Mr.Kuwahara)

It is truly the Hokuriku Souzenshuu! It is a place that transcends the boundaries of a shrine and has been a major part of Japan's history.
2 A country that flourished from northeastern China to the Korean peninsula during the Tang dynasty. The "Balhae envoys" from Balhae to Japan were dispatched from 727 to 930. Compared to the Japanese envoy to the Tang Dynasty, the "Kangtang Envoy" (728-811), the exchange with Balhae lasted more than 100 years longer.

Emperor Chuai and Empress Jingu, gods of victory who loved "Kehi-no-Miya

The Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) describes that Emperor Chuai visited this place in the second year after his accession to the throne. It is said that he was so pleased with the place that he "thought of making it his capital.

Emperor Chuai’s conquest of Kyushu and Empress Jingu’s conquest of Sanhan are said to have set sail from the port of Tsuruga. Their son, Emperor Ojin, also won the civil war that took 20 years with his mother, Empress Jingu. Before his ascension to the throne, Emperor Ojin visited Kehi to perform misogi before the deity and exchange names with him. (Mr.Kuwahara)

From these anecdotes, Kehi Jingu Shrine offers the blessing of "longevity of military fortune.

Many people come to pray before a sports match. For such people, the "Kachimamori" is a good choice. (Mr.Kuwahara)

There are also many other types of amulets, such as prayers for safe delivery in honor of Empress Jingu, and prayers for health and long life in honor of Takeuchi no Sukune-no-mikoto.

3 power spots not to be missed

Kehi Jingu Shrine is one of the "Meijin Taisha," which is considered to have the most remarkable spiritual power among the Shikinai Shrines*1, and contains all seven of the seven shrines that enshrine the seven deities. There are many shrines and power spots within its spacious precincts.

1 The shrine has a long history and is named in the Engishiki Jinmeicho (Engi Shiki Shinmeicho), which was compiled in 927.

Dohkoh-san, a sacred place since 2000 years ago

Kehi Jingu Shrine has a history of more than 1,300 years, counting from its foundation. However, it was actually a so-called "holy place" that is said to have existed long before that.

It is said that Izasawake no Mikoto, the main deity of the shrine, alighted on Mount Tezatsu, which can be seen from here, about 2,000 years ago. Since it was difficult to visit the shrine on top of the mountain, he used a large tree on the plain as a primitive primitive shrine (string roughly translated as "primitive shrine" *3) to welcome the deity, and designated it as a sacred place to pray. This was "Dohkoh-san.

The site is now within the schoolyard of a neighboring elementary school, but it was originally the site of Kehi Jingu Shrine as well. There is a torii gate and a far-off place for worshipping the gods and Buddha from a distance so that people can visit the shrine with Mt. (Mr.Kuwahara)

3 Trees, stones, etc. that serve as a medium for gods and spirits to descend.
Kehi Jingu Shrine has worshipped Izasawake-no-mikoto as its main deity, in accordance with the beliefs that have existed since ancient times.

Purification with "Chomei Sui," water that has not dried up for 1,300 years

Chomeisui is one of the most popular power spots at Kehi Jingu Shrine.

It is said that the water came out when the shrine was built in 702. Even now, the water source has not dried up and the water continues to flow out. It is not known when and why the water came to be called "long-life water," but it may have something to do with the fact that Takenouchi no Sukune-no-Mikoto, the god of the shrine, lived a long life. (Mr.Kuwahara)

Origin of the name "Tsuruga"? Tsunuga Shrine

Kakunoshika Shrine is also one of the Shikinai Shrines*1 and has a long history. It is dedicated to Tsunuga Arashito no Mikoto. His name is said to be the origin of the place name "Tsuruga," and a bronze statue of him stands in front of Tsuruga Station.

Tsuruga Arasutomikoto landed in Japan as a prince of the Korean peninsula in the state of Mimana. He was later appointed priest of Kehi Shrine and in charge of the government of Echizen Province, and Tsunuga Shrine is said to have been built on the site of his government office.

1 The shrine has a long history and is named in the Engishiki Jinmeicho (Engi Shiki Shinmeicho) compiled in 927.

Hope for Tomorrow in the Land of Accumulated Prayer

Many of the ancient stories spun in the Kojiki and other books are ambiguous as to whether they are myths or historical facts. However, it is an undeniable fact that there were people who believed in them and prayed to them. Kibi Jingu Shrine has had an "accumulation of prayers" over 2,000 years. This may be the source of the power spot, giving us hope for tomorrow.

Kibi Jingu

Address 11-68 Akebono-cho, Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture
Access Get off at Tsuruga Station on the JR Hokuriku Line.
15 minutes on foot or 5 minutes by bus from the station
Take either the "Community Bus" or "Gurutto Tsuruga Shuyu Bus" and get off at the Kibi Jingu-mae stop.
About 10 minutes by car from the Tsuruga IC on the Hokuriku Expressway

Parking lot Yes (free of charge)
Opening and closing hours 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. [April to September] 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. [October to March
October - March] 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Telephone number 0770-22-0794