Let's Visit Okuhino's Shrines and Pray for New Year's Good Luck
The Japanese first event of the year is "Hatsumode (初詣)”,which means New Year’s visit to a shrine. It is an Japanese traditional event to pray for the peace and good luck, and also to devote a gratitude of last year’s health and peace. Do you know that there are many shrines with very auspicious names, which are said to bring luck and money in Oku-hino area (Hino Town and Nichinan Town) in southwest Tottori prefecture?
Please visit shrines in Okuhino in order to get good luck. It would be a great start of New Year to visit shrines, enjoy beautiful scenery and eat delicious local food.
Oku-hino is a region where ”Tatara Ironwork”, the traditional Japanese iron manufacturing method, has been actively carried out. Due to the fact, there are many place names, especially for shrines, ”Fuku”(福) with the same reading style "Fuku”(吹く) from the word "blowing" when sending air to a steelmaking furnace.
One of the shrines is "Sasafuku Shrine"(樂樂福神社)" in Nichinan Town. Many worshipers visit the shrine as the name means ”bringing happiness". Its foundation is 1100 years ago. There used to be another “(West) Sasafuku Shrine” in the opposite shore across the Hino river, but the two shrines were merged together. Some people still call this shrine as ”East Sasafuku Shrine".
There is another shrine which are said bring happiness. It’s ”Fuku-sakae Shrine" with the name “happiness prospers” (福榮神社). In 1913, some shrines in various parts of the area were merged, and combined the names of the auspicious names "Toyosakae (豊栄)“, “Kami-fuku (神福)” and "Fukuduka (福塚)”.
During the time when Tatara Ironwork had been carried out, iron is called "gold (金)”. Tamahagane, which was made of iron sand, and the raw material to make Japanese swords, had been worth more than gold back then. As a result, Sasafuku Shrine and Fukasae Shrine attracti attention not only as a shrine to bring luck but also as a shrine to bring money.
Address: 1065, Miyauchi, Nichinan-cho, Hino-gun, 689-5216 Tottori
Contact: 0859-82-1115（Nichinan Town Tourism Association）
Access：15 min. drive from Shoyama Station of JR Hakubi Line
●Fukusakae Shrine (福榮神社）
Address: 1247, Kamifuku, Nichinan-cho, Hino-gun, 689-5672, Tottori
Contact: 0859-82-1115（Nichinan Town Tourism Association）
Access: 25min. drive from Shoyama Station of JR Hakubi Line
If you wish for money luck, you can not miss the visit to “Kamochi Shrine”(金持神社) in Hino Town. The name means “Rich shrine”. The origin of the shrine is also in Tatara Ironwork. It is called "rich" because the place used to be a village where iron had been largely collected.
You might suspect that “Does the shrine really bring money luck?”. Please take a look at wooden plaques hanging in the shrine. “I won a lottery.” “The business went well.” “I don’t have to worry about money anymore.” There are a lot of messages showing the gratitude towards the god.
At the Kamochi Shrine shop beside the parking lot, there are many lucky items such wooden plaque, wallet and folding fan. Please don’t miss yellow handkerchief that calls for happiness (1,080 yen). Please wrap the lottery with the handkerchief and place it higher than your head.
●Kamochi Shrine (金持神社）
Address: 74, Kamochi, Hino-cho, Hino-gun, 689-4512 Tottori
Contact: 0859-72-0332（Hino Town Tourism Association）
Opening Hours: 10:00～16:00 (Open Everyday)
Access: 7min. drive from Neu station of JR Hakubi Line
After visiting the Kamochi shrine, please try "Okuhino Mushroom Confiture Burger"(600 yen). THE BURGER STAND BUBUNOVA, a burger shop in Yonago city and a mushroom farmer "Shi-tatsu" in Hino Town collaborated to make this delicious burger using local ingredients. In 2015, the burger won the second prize and “The Best Tasting Burger Award” at Tottori Burger Fest, an annual competition for Japan’s best burger. It also won the fourth prize in 2016.
The burger is large with extra thick Shiitake, Shimeji, Eringi mushrooms with Japanese-style Genovese sauce, tomato, fried onion and beef patty. The sauce and meat juice is overflowing! The taste of filling shiitake mushrooms with the Genovese sauce will gave you a surprise.
The burger is available in a limited quantity near Kamochi Shrine shop on every Saturday and Sunday.
●THE BURGER STAND BUBUNOVA Okuhino Kamochi Shop
Address: 1490 Kamochi, Hino-cho, Hino-gun 689-4512 Tottori
Opening Hours: 10:00-15:00 on every Saturday and Sunday
Access: 7 min. drive from JR Neu Station
Shinto shrine is not the only place to visit in Okuhino area. Located in the border between Nichinan Town in Tottori Prefecture and Niimi City in Okayama Prefecture, "Akichi Toge" boasts a superb view representing the Oku Hino area.
It is one of the most famous places for the sea of clouds in Tottori. In early morning on a fine day between late October and January, the village below your eyes is covered by white cloud sea. The scene is like the heaven. On a clear day, you will be able to see the south wall of Mt. Daisen in the distance.
Unless weather conditions are met, it is difficult to see the sea of clouds at the Akechi Toge. If you could see luckily, it might be proof that good luck is coming on you.
●Akechi Toge (明地峠）
Address: Bessho, Hino-cho, Hino-gun 689-4524 Tottori
Contact: 0859-72-0332（Hino Town Tourism Association)
Access: 20min. drive from Neu station.
Okuhino is an area with a lot of snow in winter. After checking the weather information, traffic information and information on each spot thoroughly, prepare clothes and footwear according to the situation in advance.
please watch your step if there is snow or ice on the approach to the shrine.
When you can go out by car, be sure to wear a tire for winter and carry a tire chain.
Tottori Snow Road Information Website http://yukinavi.net/index.html