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Kora Taisha (高良大社) on Kora Mountain
Price: 0 yen
Visiting local shrines is an awesome (and free) way to get some exercise and to be refreshed in nature.
If you’re in the Kurume area, Korataisha is closest to Mii Station, on the east side of town, although not really close to anything. It seems like most people drive there to avoid hiking up the hill. We don't have a car, so we walked from our house in Kurume.
There’s a pond with koi below the entrance to Korataisha and it’s well maintained but no one was around. The koi seem used to people feeding them, but we didn’t bring anything for them. Spotted a crane hanging out doing yoga there.
At the entrance of the trail, there’s a big tori. This is the telltale landmark for the entrance of a shrine.
After a while on the trail, there's a short detour to check out a mini-shrine/place to pray. We were just curious, and saw it was a popular place for couples to pray. How romantic, we thought, and wondered why. There are two small trees growing close to each other, and apparently they decided to ‘hold hands’ and become one. Interesting, sure, but we thought they were probably just business partners and merely shaking hands. As we had nothing to pray about, we held hands too while looking for a minute.
The trail curves uphill past the huge hydrangea garden, which was blooming in mid to late June. (We went a day before the ajisai matsuri, but at least we missed any crowds.)
We didn’t keep track of time, but from the entrance to the shrine took around an hour walking. At the top, there was a nice view of the (smoggy) city. My legs were a little shaky and I felt so out of shape, haha. As usual around shrines, there are lots and lots of steps.
There is a viewing area where we can see the river & point out some landmarks we know. In addition to the honden (main shrine) there was some construction going on behind it and some other small buildings, including a public restroom.