There is a huge tree standing at the center of the Kato Shrine yard. It is believed that this tree was planted by Kiyomasa Kato, the founder of the Kumamoto Castle. This shrine was built to worship Kiyomasa Kato. Kiyomasa Kato is called by the name “Seishoko-san” by the locals.
The small, photogenic red torii gate and the ladder leads to the main shrine. It looks as if the shrine is inside the tree.
This shrine is famous for having the best view of the donjon of Kumamoto Castle.
Kato Shrine is where Kato Kiyomasa, the lord of Kumamoto from the late 14th and early 15th century, is enshrined. The shrine was originally built in between the main tower of Kumamoto Castle and the Uto Turret and was called the Nishikiyama Shrine. In 1874, it was moved north to the Kyomachi area of Kumamoto, and then in 1962, it was moved to its current location.
If you have a chance to visit this shrine on New Year’s day, the first 3,000 people are given pink and white rice cakes as a celebration.
For your information :
Name of Shrine : Kato Shrine
Address : Ninomaru 2-1, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi
From major cities in Japan to Kumamoto
From Airport, JR station to This shrine
Kato Shrine is located so close to Kumamoto Castle.
Related web : http://www.manyou-kumamoto.jp/en/plan-your-visit/kato-shrine.html
Photograph and text by meguru hayata