Romance in Kamishikimi Shrine

Welcome back to Michino Eki Aso………

It’s me, Min Min. 

Honestly, I’m not a fan of Japanese animated movies although I’m learning Japanese and currently living in japan. But I have some memorable animated movies when I started my Japanese learning. Today, I’d like to pick up one animated movie which is always on my mind. It is Hotarubino Mori because I would like to present to you the amazing place which is actually the setting of this movie.


If you’ve already watched this movie, I bet you would remember the intense and dark green wood scenes and the dreamy shrine where the main characters (Gin and Hotaru) met each other. It is an actual place and luckily located in Takamori which is beside Aso.


It is called Kamishikimi KumanoImasu shrine. It’s such a long name, isn’t it.wwww. I call it Kamishikimi Shrine for short. It’s also a bit of a long trek to get to the shrine. Standing inside of the rich cypress forest makes the shrine have an atmospheric vibe. Let’s hit the road with me.

It takes 30 min to 40 min by car from Aso station and 10min from Takamori station to get there. There is also a free parking lot where you can park before climbing up to the shrine. My advice is to take your drink in advance cause I promise you would be thirsty. There is a vending machine at the parking lot to buy some drinks.

This is the entrance gate and you have to climb up from now on and you can see nearly 100 lanterns all the way to the shrine. 

I took my lovely Indian friend’s picture on the way before we got tired. She looked stunning with that skirt and moss-covered background. Don’t forget to take a nice picture of you when you get there.

It will take 15 min to 20 min to climb the stone ladders up. Don’t be in a hurry, just take it easy by taking some nice pictures and feeling the intense history. 

It is a good idea to take the matching picture of animation and the real view. This is Gin and lanterns lining on the way.

This is the nearest gate to the shrine and you can simply see the shrine already. 

This is Kamishikimi shrine. If you want to show some respect to the god, just bring 5 yens or 10 yens. You know, what? This shrine is believed to bring luck for your marriage.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why Hotaru’s manga writer chose this place for the setting of great romance, I guess. Bring your love of life and make some wishes.

Tour is not over yet. There is another path leading up to a 10m big rock crack called Ugetoiwa stone which has some history too. Said to be a symbol of achieving difficult goals. This is a great photography spot too. 

I strongly recommend the photography lovers to take pictures there. So, let’s call it a day and really hope you enjoy my blog. I’ll be back with a different tourist spot for you.

Have a great day…….

Min Min 


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