CONTRIBUTED BY AMY MADDOCKS
While driving south last weekend to enjoy the lovely weather, in the middle of a busy street in Itoman we came across a beautiful shrine and just had to stop to learn more. We discovered that the people of Itoman believe the God of the Sea (Shirogane-no-oibe) to be enshrined here. They also believe the graves of local fishermen who lived long ago surround the shrine. To this day, the people of Itoman pay homage here for success on the sea and a safe return after their sea voyages.
Two local people were there while we were taking pictures and offered to tell us a little about the place. They tried teaching us what some of the writing meant on the stones, but all we were able to decipher was “strong heart, body, and mind.” If anyone can read the script and tell us what they mean, please do! Also, if you’d like to read a little about the fascinating legends about this place, you can visit this LINK for some great information.
It’s always so refreshing to find amazing shrines and beautiful landmarks tucked away in the middle of a busy street or bustling city. This is one such shrine! It sneaks up on you, but use the directions and map and you’ll find it easily.
Directions: Take the 58 heading south past Naha, continue south on Highway 331 and take the 331 Bypass (it splits near the airport). You’ll come to an intersection where three Highways begin; continue on the 331 south. Around 4 km down this road you’ll see the shrine on your left by locating a Torii Gate. Right before the gate is a driveway you can turn into for free parking and restrooms. A quicker route is to take the Express and follow the map pin below.