Visit The Hidden Kinpo Shrine In Akita

I opened my eyes at 7 am at the Taizando farmhouse which is run by Mr and Mrs. Fujii. I had a nice Japanese dinner with Mr and Mrs. Fujii and their son the night before. They are very nice people. The food and the local-brew Japanese sake here tastes great.

Farm stay house TAIZANDO

Farm stay house Taizando

I put on a warm jacket and started my morning walk around the farmhouse with a camera. The rice paddy, the misty mountains, the tress and the rising sun create a beautiful view. It is so peaceful around the house.

walking around farm stay house

Walking around the farmhouse

Nearby mountains in morning mist.

The misty mountains.

Trees and rising sun.

The trees and the rising sun.

Farm Stay house Taizando

The entrance to the Taizando farmhouse

For about an hour, I enjoyed walking around the Taizando farmhouse. After I got back, I had homemade Japanese breakfast which consisted of salty grilled salmon, fresh vegetables, miso soup and homemade rice. It was a happy start to the day.

I visited the Kinpo shrine on a sunny morning in late autumn. I told my guide that I was not interested in visiting the tourist areas or famous restaurants and izakayas. I wanted to visit a quiet place where the locals go. My guide gave me a few suggestions. I decided to visit the Kinpo shrine, because it is not widely known. My guide told me that the Kinpo shrine is the treasure of the town and its ground is fully covered in deep green moss. Apparently, he has visited the shrine many times but it is usually very empty. 
This shrine is worth visiting. Quiet and peaceful spaces like this help me clear my mind.

Kinpo Shrine

The wooden gate to Kinpo shrine(Hasuike Kannon)

My guide and I visited the shrine. During our walk to the entrance of the shrine which took about 10 minutes, we did not encounter anyone and saw no cars or bikes. We parked the car in the big parking lot. When I opened the door and stepped out, I felt the moisture and the thickness of the green moss.

At the entrance, you will see a wooden gate. Through the rectangular opening, you can see the the steps made out of stone that are fully covered in thick and wet moss. There are many tall, straight cedar trees in the area. I peeked inside the shrine but it was empty. The shrine was a private place for the God and myself.

Wood Gate to Kinpo Shrine

2 creatures welcome you. This is the wooden gate to Kinpo Shrine

When you look up to the wooden gate, you will find 2 human-shaped creatures watching you. On the horizontal wooden bar, there is an engraving of a cloud. There is also the Shine-nawa, which is the sacred straw ropes with Shide, that are folded with white paper hanging down.

Ground in the Kinpo Shrine

Stone steps to the ground at the Kinpo Shrine

Green moss above stone steps

Green moss above the stone steps

Old and healthy trees in Kinpo shrine.

Old and healthy trees at Kinpo shrine.

Main shrineof Kinpo shrine

Main shrine of Kinpo

After about a 20 minute walk from the gate, I saw the main shrine. I felt welcomed. I cleaned my hands and mouth with pure water and stepped up to the main shrine. It was so quiet.

Komainu, guardian dog is welcome me.

The Komainu guardian dog is welcoming me.

The smiling Komainu guardian dog is welcoming me.

A pair of Komainu guardian dogs stand in front of the main shrine. One of Komainu looked like it was smiling at me.

Main shrine of Kinpo shrine

The main shrine of Kinpo shrine

Plate of shrine written Kinpo mountain in chinese letter

The plate of the shrine has “Kinpo mountain” written on it in Chinese letters

Side of main shrine

The side of the main shrine

The wooden shrine was so inspiring and it purified me. Kinpo shrine is worth visiting if you want to feel the Japanese culture. Because this shrine is very quiet, you will not meet anybody. You can experience the shrine without any disturbance.

For your information

Name of shrine : Kinpo Shrine

Address : Tazawakoumeza, Senboku-shi, Akita, Japan

Access: from Kakunodate JR Station, take Taxi about 15 min.

Question: Please mail to  (Tazawako Tourism Information Center)

Related information :

Photograph and text by meguru hayata