The Important Cultural Properties of the beautiful main hall and the shrine grounds with their mysterious beauty are highlights
Kirishima Jingu is a shrine which boasts an ancient history since its establishment in the 6th century. It has been repeatedly burned down by eruptions from Mt. Kirishima and rebuilt, but the current main shrine building was built in 1715 since the shrine’s move to its current location more than 500 years ago. Within the large grounds, there are old cedar trees which are 700 years old and the beguiling vermilion main shrine building stands out even more in the middle of the greenery, so that the appearance of the lovely shrine has given it the name of Nikko of the West. Also known for its flowers and the fall colors, there are the drooping cherry trees from late March to early April, the rhododendron at the beginning of June, and the 1100 maple trees which turn at the end of November to provide some splendid fall color. In addition, the new leaves in summer are also wonderful and during winter, fallen snow can also be seen so that the area reveals a variety of expressions throughout the year. The shrine also has a number of nationally-designated Important Cultural Properties such as the two zuiun pillars to the left and right and the carvings of the 24 dragons in the main hall, and the large and gorgeous Chinese-style chokushi-den (Imperial envoy hall). At this shrine 500m above sea level, the viewing point which is just beyond the great torii gate and the Ni-no-Torii gate provides a view of Sakurajima and Mt. Kaimon.
Notable events such as the Kyumen Taiko Drums
At the shrine, there are rituals which are over a century old such as the one for New Year’s Day and the Kigensai which commemorates the founding of the nation on February 11th, during which the Kyumen Taiko Drums express the mythology behind the descent of the grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu so that they become the focus of attention as a heroic form of folk entertainment.