10 days in Japan - 10/29/2022 to 11/7/2022










Day 8-Hiroshima




Day 6- Ikuta shrine, Kobe-11/3/22

This morning we took a 30 minutes train ride from Osaka to Kobe. Our  first stop in Kobe is the Ikuta Shrine located about 10 minutes walk from the Kobe-Sannomiya station.

Ikuta Shrine, which is possibly one of the oldest shrines in the country. Its founding is noted in the Nihon Shoki (second oldest book of classical Japanese history); it's said to have been constructed by the Empress Jingu at the beginning of the 3rd century AD.  Ikuta Shrine is worshipped as a guardian of health. This is also reflected in the shrine's name, as the first Chinese character means "life". For the people of Kobe Ikuta Shrine is also a symbol of resurrection, as it survived quite some challenges in the past: Wars were fought in and around the shrine grounds during the Genpei War (1180 - 1185​), heavy flooding from the nearby river occurred in 1938, there were air raids over Kobe during World War and last but not least it suffered from the damage caused by the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. Ikuta Shrine withstood all the damage and is therefore a symbol of hope for the residents.

A huge grey wooden Torii gate at the entrance.

It was rebuilt after the earthquake but proudly stands today as the main entrance to the shrine, a symbol of ancestral Japan in the middle of the modern city of Kobe.


We are standing at the main gate.


A second vermilion-lacquered torii gate as you enter the shrine.



After you pass through the 2nd torii gate you will see the tower gate.



Employees at the shrine dresses in traditional Japanese dress.


View from the Tower gate to the street entrance.


After the tower gate you will arrive at the magnificent main shrine building.

Ikuta shrine venerates the goddess of fabric Wakahirume-no-Mikoto and she is worshiped for bringing people together.  


View from the Main shrine looking back at the street entrance in the background.


The main shrine where people come to pay their respect.



A sign teaching you how to pray.  Bend down twice, clap your hands, and bend down twice.


Hoa praying according to the instructions above and throwing a coin at the end of the prayer.


Located in Sannomiya, an area frequented by youngsters, the shrine also attracts a lot of young couples, who visit the shrine to get hold of amulets; white for boys and pink for girls, believed to bring their happiness and romance to a happy end.


Ema is a small wooden plaque that is sold at temples and shrines across Japan.

Traditionally, Japanese people write their wishes or hopes for the future on Ema and dedicate them to shrines or temples where the god will receive them and make their whishes come true.


Close look at Ema.


More Ema along the way.



A sacred tree over 500 years old that continues to survive/restore itself long after the air raid and being burned during World War II.  The trunk on its side shows the rings indicating it was over 500 years old.  The trunk symbolizes the rebuild of Kobe.


You can see here that the tree is still alive with some branches coming out of the tree trunk.


Further down and in the center is about 2 dozen vermillion torii gates that take you to another tiny shrine in the back.


Side view of the torii gates.


Entering the torii gate.


On the left is the view back to entrance and to the right is the view to the shrine (right).




Close view of the tiny shrine.


The shrine is protected by two kitsune (foxes)


In Japanese folklore kitsune are foxes that possess paranormal abilities to shape shift into human form and portray them as faithful guardians and friends.


Bamboo grove toward the end of the property.


On the side of the shrine there is the small “Ikuta forest” with some beautiful old trees, a small stream and a couple of relaxing sitting spaces..


You can see the small stream leading to a rest area.


Rest area that is so Zen.


Closer look at the stream.


Really peaceful to walk around.


Old trees in the forest.


On our way out there is a pond called Ikuta pond.


Memorial area


Right outside the shrine is the bustling street of Osaka.  It is quite a huge contrast between modern urban town to the peaceful Ikuta shrine.


We are now headed to Chinatown.


NEXT.... Day 6-Chinatown, Kobe





Our house


Photo Gallery

 Mon  petit coin