- Beach Guide
- Travel Info
- Yeller Pages
- About Us
- Sign in
Okinawa Japan photography group featuring unique pictures of Okinawa
Futenma Shrine is one of the eight major shrines of the Ryukyu Islands, made up of two wooden shrines and a series of caves that serve as underground shrines.
The two large temples with golden ornamented trim stand between the modern buildings of Ginowan bringing a stark contrast to the shrines that were commissioned by King Sho Kinpuku five centuries ago, during the first Sho dynasty, to honor the gods of caves.
At the entrance to the shrine grounds stands a large wooden torii gate, this leads the largest shrine of Futenma Gongen. A public altar where the priests of Futenma Gongen conduct ceremonies and the public can come to pray can be found inside this first large shrine. The altar is beautifully fashioned, but visitors are asked to refrain from taking pictures.
Sitting behind the main shrine is a smaller building that is not open to the public. The first thing you will notice are large doors plated in gold baring the entrance to this shrine. The shrine is said to be home to the god of Futenma Gongen. Priests of the shrine are forbidden to share the secret of its contents.
Within the grounds are the 280 meter-long Futenma Shrine caves, these caves were the original place of worship for the Okinawans. The original altars still rest at the foot of the stairs leading into the caves. Many come here to pray, particularly for fertility because of the many stalactite and stalagmites.
Following the path through the caves leads to a foot-bridge that passes over a small creek. It is said that if you make a wish while crossing over the bridge, it will come true. At the end of the path is a grated door that leads to an open outdoor clearing. This door is opened only once every year on June 30 at 6 p.m. in celebration of the rainy seasons end and to symbolize the cleansing and renewing of the shrine. Visitors passing through the doorway at that time are believed to also be purified.
Futenma Shrine is located near Camp Foster's Gate 6 on Highway 330