Atago Shrine is one of the three major Shinto shrines in Japan dedicated to the deity Atago, and also the oldest shrine in Fukuoka City. Originally established in the first century AD as Washio Shrine, it initially enshrined two gods, and two more were received from Atago Shrine in Kyoto and added in 1634 by Kuroda Tadayuki, the second daimyo (feudal lord) of the Fukuoka-han domain. In 1901, the name of the Washio Shrine was changed to Atago Shrine, and the name of the hill it sits atop was changed to Mount Atago.
Among believers, praying at Atago Shrine is said to be effective in driving away evil, bringing about good luck, granting good fortune in meeting people (for starting relationships), bringing success in business and academics, ensuring traffic safety, and promoting harmonious family relationships, among other things. It is also said to be helpful for people trying to give up smoking or drinking–a fact that seems to draw many visitors.
The approximately 2,000 cherry blossoms within the Shrine grounds make for a splendid sight in the spring, and the view from the top out toward Fukuoka Tower and Hakata Bay is one of the best in town, day or night. The atmosphere of the Shrine makes you feel more like you are in the mountains than the city, which is probably one of the reasons locals love it.
Atago Shrine is a 10-15 minute walk from Muromi Station on the Kuko Subway Line, and a shorter walk if you take the bus (take Nishitetsu bus no. 1 and get off at Atago-shita Bus Stop). You can view the location with Google Maps by clicking here. Shrine buildings are open and charms and talismans are sold from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.