Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone
History began in this area when the Buddhist and Shinto religions were combined at the Usa Shrine about 1,300 years ago. The fusion of the cultural beliefs in Shinto gods and Buddha is a kind of culture not seen anywhere else in the world, and perhaps it is precisely because of this that it has become a cornerstone of the essential Japanese spirit. This culture of fused religions in Usa and on the Kunisaki Peninsula has proved to be timeless, and still remains today as the Rokugo Manzan culture.
The Usa Shrine governed over about one-third of the territories in Kyushu, but this power has been lost with the passage of time. Since then each area has continued to develop in its own way: Nakatsu, Kitsuki and Hiji have the characteristic shape of castle towns, while Beppu is prospering as an international hot spring resort area. Yet, as time passes, the Rokugo Manzan culture survives as it is passed down through the generations of local people.
Entry Program 11
Unravel One Thousand Years of Memories. A Completely Undiscovered Japan～The birthplace of the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism～
Usa Shrine in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, is the birthplace of the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism. The unique culture created by the merging of the Shinto Gods and Buddhist deities, known as “Rokugo Manzan Culture”, has continued for more than 1000 years, and is still prevalent in the area today. To the far west of Kyoto and Nara, where the history is centered around the Imperial family and aristocrats, a very different culture developed in the ancient area around Usa shrine. The remnants of this culture have survived more than a thousand years and are said to be the cornerstone of the Japanese spirit – the “spirit of harmony”.
Discover the essence of Japanese spiritualism while visiting Usa Shrine and Rokugo Manzan temples. Get an understanding of the roots of Japan in the region where Shinto gods and Buddhist deities merged to create a unique culture among the people.
Wishes written on prayer sticks are given as offerings
Activity contents 1
|Traditional monk’s meal and prayer stick burning ritual at a Rokugo Manzan temple|
|Traditional monk’s meal at Monjusenji, one of the Rokugo Manzan temples. Explanation from the senior priest, followed by prayer stick burning ritual to receive good luck from the Rokugomanzan gods.|
|Accommodation is Beppu Onsen|
|Stay at Beppu, a hot spring resort boasting more hot spring sources and outlets than anywhere else in the world.|
Activity contents 2
|Oita Prefectural Museum of History|
|The best place to get an overall picture of the history of the area. A guide will introduce you to the history of Usa Shrine and how its culture spread to the Kunisaki Peninsula. There will also be a special prayer session in the inner sanctum.|
Green onion okonomiyaki made by ”Aji-ichi negi” farmers
|“Aji-ichi Negi” green onion okonomiyaki (Japanese style pancake)|
|Local brand “Aji-ichi negi” are made to make this delicious green onion okonomiyaki.|
Activity contents 3
|Visit to Usa Shrine|
|Visit to Usa shrine, the birthplace of the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism. Introduction by a local guide to unknown power spots within Usa Shrine which are rarely visited as well as to the incredible history of the Shrine.|
One of the Rokugo Manzan Temples, the main hall of the national treasure, Fukiji temple
Activity contents 4
|Fukiji Temple (national treasure)|
|One of the Rokugo Manzan Temples、 Fukiji Temple. The main hall is a designated national treasure.|