Tamatsukuriyu Shrine is located on a mountainside in the Tamayu and Tamatsukuri Hot Spring area. This district has a history that dates back to some of the earliest settlements in Japan and is revered across the region as an important spiritual locale.
Visitors come from far and wide to offer a prayer and to touch the round stone at the shrine that is said to be infused with the power of the gods. After a ritual of purifying the stone with the water collected in the basin beneath it, you place your hand on it to receive its energy.
Tamatsukuriyu Shrine also functions as the guardian of the adjacent Tamatsukuri Hot Spring. Founded at the same time in 733, the hot spring is called the bath of the gods. Interestingly, the shrine’s basin is fed by hot spring water and instead of the typical dragon centerpiece, there is a large magatama (teardrop shaped pendant).
After a visit to the shrine, be sure to enjoy the nearby hot springs. Go for the day or spend a night or two in the town. If you come from mid-July to late August, you will delight in the Summer Festival that takes place along the Tamayu River. This night festival is a month and a half long marathon of fun.
It is rather nice just to have a walk around the town, following the course of the Tamayu River. You can actually stroll along the banks of the river and even use stepping stones to cross it. Try and spot as many magatama as you can. They are all over the place and can be found in many different sizes and colors.
Access: Take the Super Yakumo Express train from JR Okayama Station to JR Tamatsukuri Onsen Station. Tamatsukuriyu Shrine is about a 30 minute walk from JR Tamatsukuriyu Onsen Station.
About the Area
Matsue is the vibrant capital city of Shimane Prefecture that has been shaped by its feudal heritage as a castle town and its unique location on Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi and the Japan Sea. The city center is dominated by the presence of Matsue Castle and its surrounding canals. This area is also a cultural zone as it is home to museums and historic quarters. One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the city is from the water and there are several cruise companies that make this possible.
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