The Yūtoku Inari Shrine (祐徳稲荷神社) is dedicated to Inari, the deity whose messengers are foxes and revered for business prosperity, bountiful harvests, and protection from automobile accidents. It is one of Japan’s three most important Inari shrines, along with Fushimi Inari-jinja in Kyoto and Kasama Inari-jinja in Ibaraki.
Build in 1687 and set in beautiful natural surroundings near the city of Kashima, it is one of Saga Prefecture’s most picturesque destinations. The main hall is elevated and supported by pillars built on the side of a mountain, similar to the famous Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) shrine in Kyoto.
Similar to other Inari shrines, the buildings are richly decorated in red lacquer and hundreds of torii gates lines the paths behind main structure and up the mountainside. Following the trails on an impromptu hike will bring you so smaller sub-shrines and a great view of Kashima city and the Ariake Sea in the distance.