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Kumano Taisha Shrine


The first shrine where fire was created


In ancient times, Kumano Taisha Shrine was known also as Izumo-no-kuni Ichi-no-miya, which means it was the highest ranking shrine in the Izumo Region. It is located 15km south of central Matsue in Yakumo Town. From the road you can easily spot the concrete torii gate and the vermillion bridge that leads up to the shrine. The deity enshrined here is Susano-o-no-mikoto who is well known through the eight-headed serpent “Yamata-no-Orochi” Iwami Kagura story. This shrine is said to be the first shrine where fire was created. 

On the shrine grounds is the Sanka-den hall, which is a structure with a thatched roof and cypress bark covered walls. The Sanka-den Hall houses two old-fashioned fire-kindling tools that are used in the annual Sanka-sai Fire Festival and inauguration ceremonies for the Chief Priests of Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine.

The biggest setsubun festivities in Matsue are said to be at Kumano Taisha Shrine. From the Mai-den Hall, the open building, government officials and community representatives throw out beans and mochi to the crowd of participants. 

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