A popular destination for those looking for love or trying to start a family, but you’ll want to check the tide schedule before you visit.
The Shinto faith holds that there is divinity in nature. As such, many of the Shinto shrines that dot the Japanese countryside weren’t built to be easily accessed by visitors, but rather to be close to mountain peaks, dense forests, or coastal promontories.
However, their out-of-the-way-locations enhance the mystical atmosphere of these shrines, and many have since been dubbed “power spots” by Japanese media and travel enthusiasts. One of the trickier power spots to get to is Kojima Shrine in Nagasaki Prefecture.
What makes it so difficult? The only way to approach the shrine is on foot, but the path leading to it gets swallowed up by the sea every day at high tide.
As seen in the video above, when the waters recede, the path to the shrine’s island appears, like something out of a Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda installment.
However, before you walk over to this island, you’ll have to take a boat to Ikinoshima, the larger island to which the shrine island is connected at low tide. From the port of Fukuoka City, the sea voyage takes about one hour.
Once getting off the boat, you’ve got about a 30-minute drive to the start of the path to Kojima Shrine, so you’ll either want to rent a car from one of the nearby agencies or take a taxi.
At the start of the path to the shrine, it’s pretty easy to see the torii gate. The actual shrine itself, though, is hidden from view so you’ll need to walk through the torii, then make your way around the right-hand coast of the island.
Eventually, you’ll come across the stone lantern that serves as a marker for the beginning of the trail that leads up the slope into the interior, at the end of which Kojima Shrine awaits.
It’s said that those who offer a prayer at Kojima Shrine will be blessed with good fortune in their love life. Other benefits purported to be bestowed upon visitors are increased fertility and healthy childbirth, so it’s kind of a one-stop destination for those looking to find a serious romance and start a family one day.
Before all that, though, you’ll need to make sure you can actually get to the shrine, which will require a bit of backwards route engineering. Boat schedules for the trip from Fukuoka to Ikinoshima can be found here, and just as importantly, the tide schedule, as predicted by the Japan Meteorological Agency, is listed here (look for the kanji 時刻, meaning “time,” in the right column labeled 干潮 (“low tide”).
Kojima Shrine / 小島神社
Address: Nagasaki-ken, Iki-shi, Ashibe-cho, Moroyoshi Futamatafure 1969
[ Read in Japanese ]