Ryugu Shrine

竜宮神社(Ryugu Jinja)
A well-loved shrine in a spectacular location
Ryugu Shrine in Tosa Shimizu is one of the most spectacular locations in Kochi Prefecture, if not all of Shikoku, but blink and you might just miss it.

The tiny shrine sits on top of an outcrop that overlooks rock platforms that fan out like fingers into the Pacific Ocean. It is said that this is the only place in Japan where the nutrient rich Kuroshio current that flows from the southwest, so important to the fishing industry, makes contact with the land. It is the whitewater that swirls around the rocks here which resemble mills (usu) grinding flour that gives the area its name, Usubae.

The shrine is dedicated to a sea goddess. Legend has it that local women would come to Ryugu Shrine after their menfolk had headed to sea to fish. Here, they would dance with their kimono open showing themselves to the sea, in the hope that the god would bless them with a big catch. Today, worship is more restrained, but the families of local fishermen still make regular visits and offerings here.

The views from the shrine are absolutely awe inspiring. From the deep blue ocean before you, to the white cliffs made of rock formed some 13 million years ago on either side and the mountain greenery as a backdrop, the 360º panorama is an unforgettable sight.

The entrance to Rygu Shrine can be easy to miss. Look for a stone shrine gate by the side of the road next to a layby with some public toilets and vending machines about 15 minutes drive from Cape Ashizuri. From here, it's a 15 to 20-minute hike down through a beautiful tunnel of trees that suddenly opens up to a breathtakingly dramatic view.

Ryugu Shrine is included in the Ashizuri Coast Discovery Walk and Boat Cruise. The tour also includes Cape Ashizuri, a coastal cruise and a stop at the delightful fishing town of Matsuo. It is an excellent way to take in the area's most spectacular sites and learn about its interesting history with a local guide.
Address 高知県土佐清水市松尾 (Matsuo, Tosashimizu City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan)
Telephone Number 0880-82-1212
Tosashimizu CityTourism Commerce and Industry Division
ClosedOpen every day
Directions●About 1 hr 50 min drive from Shimanto Chuo IC on the Kochi Expressway
●15 min drive from Cape Ashizuri along Route 27
Map Code907 221 189*35
Online Reservation Kochi Escapes (Ashizuri Coast Discovery Walk and Boat Cruise)
Hata Kochi (Ashizuri Coast Discovery Walk and Boat Cruise)

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