Introducing the Highlights of Kashima Jingu, a Power Spot in Ibaraki! Information on Tea Houses and Cafes within the Shrine Grounds

Introducing Kashima Jingu in Kashima City, Southeast Ibaraki Prefecture

Located in the southeast of Ibaraki Prefecture, Kashima City, “Kashima Jingu” is considered one of the most prestigious power spots in the Kanto region, with a high social status among the shrines of the former Hitachi Province (now Ibaraki Prefecture).

It attracts about 700,000 visitors for the New Year’s visit every year, and is famous for its blessings for victory, making it a popular destination for athletes seeking success in their endeavors.

This article will introduce the highlights of the shrine and information about tea houses where you can take a break within the shrine grounds.

About Kashima Jingu

The Head Shrine of About 600 Kashima Shrines Nationwide

Kashima Jingu, the head shrine of about 600 Kashima shrines nationwide, enshrines the deity Take-mikazuchi-no-okami. According to ancient documents, the shrine was established in 660 BC and houses numerous National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.

The shrine is bustling with visitors seeking blessings for victory and success.

It is also known for the term “Kashima stands,” which signifies new beginnings, making it a popular destination for those facing life’s turning points.

Moreover, the shrine’s grounds are vast, equivalent to about 15 Tokyo Domes!

The surrounding forest, known as “Kashima Jingu Jusou,” is designated as a natural monument by Ibaraki Prefecture.

The forest is home to towering cedars, Castanopsis, Tabu, and fir trees, among over 600 species of plants, making it a treasure trove of botanical diversity where visitors can enjoy strolling.

The “Great Torii” in the Precincts and the “West Ichinotorii” Floating on Water

The original granite Great Torii collapsed during the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, and the current Great Torii was reconstructed about three years after the disaster.

It was newly made from four giant cedar trees that grew within the shrine grounds.

The torii gate at the entrance to Mitarai Pond was also rebuilt in 2017 after being damaged in the earthquake.

Interestingly, aside from the torii gates within the shrine grounds, there are four “Ichinotorii” gates positioned to encircle the shrine from the east, west, south, and north.

The “West Ichinotorii” gate, located about 5 minutes by car from Kashima Jingu on the waters of Kitaura in Ohfunatsu (Kasumigaura), is particularly notable.

Historically, Ohfunatsu was a key economic and cultural hub due to its water transportation, and also served as an entrance for pilgrims to Kashima Jingu. The water torii gate was also depicted by the ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige Utagawa in his series “Rokujūyoshū Meisho Zue.”

The current vermilion torii gate, completed in 2013, stands 18.5 meters tall from the bottom of the water and is 22.5 meters wide, making it about 2.5 times larger than the old torii gate.

It is definitely worth visiting before or after exploring the shrine precincts.

The Vibrant Red “Roumon” Gate

The gate, standing about 13 meters tall with two stories, is located beyond the Great Torii.

The red color of the building stands out against the green forest. Records from 1634 (the 11th year of the Kan’ei era) indicate it was donated by the first lord of the Mito

Tokugawa domain, Yorifusa, in gratitude for the recovery from illness of the third shogun, Iemitsu.

At that time, over 130 carpenters constructed the parts of the Roumon gate at the Mito clan’s lower residence in Asakusa, which were then transported by raft to this site for assembly.

Designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan, this Roumon gate is considered one of the Three Great Gates of Japan, alongside those at Aso Shrine in Kumamoto Prefecture and Hakozaki Shrine in Fukuoka Prefecture.

“Roku-en” Where the Divine Messengers, Deer, Play

Along the way to the inner shrine, there is a “Deer Garden” where about 20 deer are kept.

In the age of mythology, it is said that the deity Ame-no-Kaguyama, a divine deer, conveyed the orders of the sun goddess Amaterasu to the shrine’s deity, Take-mikazuchi-no-okami, which is why deer are still cherished as divine messengers.

It is also said that when Kasuga Taisha in Nara was founded, a divine spirit from Kashima was carried on a deer’s back to the new location.

The term “antler” in English, referring to a deer’s branched horns, is the origin of the name for the J.League team Kashima Antlers.

The Seven Wonders of Kashima Jingu, “Kanameishi” and “Mitarai Pond”

Since ancient times, Kashima Jingu has been known for the “Seven Wonders of Kashima,” two of which you can still visit within the shrine grounds today.

One is the “Kanameishi,” located further beyond the inner shrine. It is deeply buried in the ground and is said to suppress the head of a catfish believed to cause earthquakes.

The second lord of the Mito Domain, Tokugawa Mitsukuni, known as Mito Komon, once tried to dig around the stone to find out how deep it was buried. However, despite digging for seven days and nights, the hole mysteriously filled up overnight, and he eventually gave up.

Near the Kanameishi, there’s a monument depicting Take-mikazuchi-no-okami holding down the head of a giant catfish.

Another wonder is the “Mitarai Pond,” which appears as you descend the slope in front of the inner shrine. The pond, fed by a spring, flows more than 400,000 liters of water a day!

It’s a beautiful pond with clear water where it is said that “whether an adult or a child enters, the water comes up only to chest height,” making it one of the seven wonders.

In the past, worshippers performed purification rituals in this pond before visiting the shrine.

Nowadays, on Daikan (around January 20th each year), considered the coldest day of the year, about 100 people participate in the Daikan Misogi ritual.

Divine Deer Omikuji & Kashima’s Belt Divination

The adorable “Divine Deer Omikuji” (500 yen), where the fortune slip comes in a container shaped like a deer, believed to be a messenger of the gods.

The “Kashima’s Belt Divination” (500 yen) offers a unique way of divination.

First, you receive a belt divination of your favorite color from peach, yellow, blue, green, or purple. Then, you tie and pull two of the four strings sticking out of a triangular box.

The number of loops formed by the tied strings determines your fortune.

One loop means your wish will come true, overlapping two loops mean your wish will partially come true, and two separate loops mean your wish will not come true.

Kashima Jingu

[TEL] 0299-82-1209
[Address] 2306-1 Miyachū, Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture
[Visiting hours] Open 24 hours, [Amulet and Prayer Reception] 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM *No reservation required *Open from midnight on New Year’s Day *Main hall and offering hall under renovation, completion expected in 2024. New Year’s visits possible in 2023
[Closed days] None
[Fee] Free
[Access] [Train] 7 minutes walk from JR Kashima Jingu Station [Car] 15 minutes from the Higashi-Kanto Expressway Itako IC
[Parking] First parking lot: 60 cars (charged, closed from January 1 to 3 /[Inquiry] Kashima Jingu), Second parking lot: 55 cars (5 minutes walk from Kashima Jingu, charged on weekends, holidays, and busy periods /[Inquiry] Kashima City Tourism Association TEL: 0299-82-7730), Kashima City Miyachū District Parking: about 150 cars (3 minutes walk from Kashima Jingu, charged on weekends and holidays /[Inquiry] Kashima City Hall TEL: 0299-82-2911)
*Check for year-end and New Year’s opening hours and fees
Click here for more details on “Kashima Jingu”

Relax at the Tea House and Café within the Shrine Grounds

Spring Water Tea House Ikkyu

Located near “Mitarai Pond” within the shrine grounds, this tea house offers a place to relax in the forest.

Drinks and soba noodles are served using the spring water from the shrine grounds.

The soba made with spring water, such as “Spring Water Seiro” (800 yen), comes in three varieties using Hitachi Autumn Soba from Ibaraki Prefecture.

Additionally, “Spring Water Coffee” (500 yen) is roasted and blended to enhance the flavor of the spring water, providing a smooth and delicious taste.

Other offerings include spring water ginger ale, lemonade, plum juice, and new products are in development!

Besides various spring water gourmet options, another recommendation is the “Famous Mitarashi Grilled Dango” (400 yen), which is a fragrant dish with special miso spread over the dango and grilled.

Spring Water Tea House Ikkyu (Rest)

[TEL] 0299-82-4393
[Address] Inside Kashima Jingu, 2306-1 Miyachū, Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture, near Mitarai Pond
[Operating hours] 9:30 AM – around 5 PM (Last order at 4 PM) *Varies by season
[Closed days] Irregular
Click here for more details on “Spring Water Tea House Ikkyu (Rest)”

Town Coffee “Aramitama”

A café & souvenir shop in front of the inner shrine.

The charm is being able to relax while viewing the inner shrine and the forest from inside the shop.

Here, you can enjoy coffee from local famous shops and Ibaraki Prefecture’s tea with sweets.

The “NamaZ Coffee Set” (600 yen) includes drip coffee using beans roasted by the popular Kashima shop “charlie coffee,” paired with a melon Baumkuchen, a nod to Ibaraki, one of Japan’s leading melon-producing regions.

The “Tea Set” (500 yen) allows you to enjoy Sashima tea, a local green tea from Ibaraki’s Sashima region, along with seasonal sweets from a long-established Japanese confectionery.

For souvenirs, “Saba Kashima’s Spring Water Simmered” (900 yen) is recommended.

It’s a canned mackerel using spring water as the stock, made with fatty mackerel. Other carefully selected souvenirs are also available, so be sure to check them out.

Town Coffee “Aramitama”


[Address] Inside Kashima Jingu, 2306-1 Miyachū, Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture
[Operating hours] 9 AM – 4 PM
[Closed days] None
Click here for more details on Town Coffee “Aramitama”


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