Tucked in the treetops facing the Ushimado marina, Honrenji temple has been discreetly overlooking the Ushimado bay since the 15th century. The three story pagoda, added in the 17th century, is one of the only rare pagodas in Japan directly facing the sea.
This Buddhist temple played an important part in the welcoming of illustrious guests. When the Korean delegation stopped by Ushimado during the Edo period (17th-19th century), the most distinguished people would sojourn in the main building of the temple grounds. With its contemplative atmosphere and scenic sea views, it is no surprise that the temple was chosen as their main residency.
You cannot miss the impressive entrance to the Ushimado Shrine. Right next to one of Ushimado’s main beaches at a foot of a hill stands a powerful stone torii from where the stairways towards the shrine begins. As you make your way up the stairs and into the lush forest, the sounds of the sea slowly fade away and the stillness of the forest takes its place.
The shrine is thought to have been established around a thousand years ago and is at the heart of many local legends. Today, many seasonal festivals take place, but its beauty and spirituality can be felt everyday throughout the year. The interior of the shrine is adorned with numerous paper lanterns and many historical paintings, giving it a very light and ceremonious atmosphere.