Koganeyama Jinja on Kinkazan Island

Kinkasan (金華山 Kinkasan?, or Kinkazan) is a small sacred island in Miyagi-ken in Tohoku. It is considered one of the Three Holiest Places in the region It lies in the Pacific Ocean off the Oshika Hantou Peninsula in Sendai Bay.  The shrine on the island is called Koganeyama-jinja.

The Oshika Peninsula was the closest part of Honshu to the epicenter of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake. It was heavily damaged and many died there. It was less than a year before that that we visited Kinkazan.

Kinkazan means mountain of gold flowers, for gold was mined there in historical times. Still, Kinkazan has been a sacred island since ancient times. It is on the Hotsuma map of important places. And ‘gold flowers’ reminds us of the golden flowers that  bloomed when the youthful prince Amateru went to Toyoke’s palace to study Amenaru-michi.

Kinkazan is a one-mountain island and is (was) easily reached by small boat.

A bus took us up to the Koganeyama Jinja. Koganeyama Jinja is a shrine for prosperity, its two main kami being Ebisu and Daikoku. You can buy any number of amulets and charms, including large decorative pieces called kumade. Kumade means rake, and the decorations are attached to a stylized rake.

Deer abound as they are under protection there. There is a charming painting of Benzaiten, goddess of water, speech, and music.

It was a lovely place to visit, and we hope that it has recovered since the disaster. We visited Ishinomaki City two years after it was devastated, and found promising signs of recovery. See our other post.


Sendai Bay is in Miyagi Ken.