An ”Inari” shrine rooted in the region, ”Kasama Inari Shrine”

An ”Inari” shrine rooted in the region,
”Kasama Inari Shrine”


A popular shrine known to the local populace as ”Oinari-san”

Kasama Inari Shrine in Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture claims a history of 1360 years, its establishment said to go back to 651 AD. A village named Kasama is clearly recorded in the history book ”Hitachinokuni Fudoki”(circa 713AD), and it is thought that by around this time, it was a place of worship for people. The deity enshrined is ”Ukanomitama No Kami”. A diety for harvest, business, luck and protection from fire, the shrine has won respect as the trustworthy ”Oinari-san” (name indicating respect and friendliness towards the deity) from ancient times. Ibaraki Prefecture was struck by a level 6 (out of 7) tremor in the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, and earthquakes of a smaller scale are still continuing. To avoid secondary damage, the shrine has temporarily taken down the ”Torii” gate, and repairs of the main shrine (designated as an Important National Cultural Asset) is on hold until the quakes settle down. However, that doesn’t stop people from visiting the shrine, and for them, they are proceeding to repair various buildings and facilities within the premises.

The ”naorai” ritual

When Nakata finished worshipping, they lead him to a room where there was food on the table. Prompted by the shrine staff, Nakata set forth to eat. Seafood, beans, ”kanpyou” (dried gourd) etc. It is an important custom to treat guests with food that was once offered to the deities.
”It’s called ”naorai”. The food offered to deities are empowered by the spirit and by consuming the food, it empowers you from within. We always have worshippers enjoy the food as a part of the ritual. ”
In ancient times, ”Naorai” was the occasion for villagers to gather and discuss weather, crops, and rules after ceremonies and festivals.
”It’s the first time I was served a meal in a shrine. I didn’t know such rituals existed.” said Nakata.
”In Shinto, we have the idea of following the ancestors’ footsteps. I can imagine our ancestors attending the ”naorai” ritual, discussing various topics as they lived.” Kasama Shrine offers ”naorai” to visitors who attend the shrine worship ceremony year-round. The shrine continues an important tradition that has existed since ancient times.


Kasama Inari Shrine
1 Kasama、Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture