[Touring Spot] [Chiba Prefecture] Bike trip to Katori Shrine! Solo trip to Japan’s last shrine and headquarters

Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I took a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Katori Shrine in Katori City, Chiba Prefecture. Katori Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is the headquarters of 400 Katori Shrines nationwide. It is said to bring benefits such as good luck, traffic safety, and protection from disasters. This time, I would like to introduce its charm, how to access it, and the local gourmet food and specialty products.


What is Katori Shrine?


Katori Shrine is dedicated to Futsunushi-no-Okami, the founding deity of the nation that appears in the Nihon Shoki. It is said that Tsunetsunushi Omikami was ordered by Amaterasu Omikami to pacify the eastern provinces when her son descended. Because of his achievements, he has been revered as the general guardian of the eastern region.

Katori Jingu Shrine has a main shrine, a tower gate, a treasure hall, and more within its vast precincts of approximately 37,000 tsubo. There are also shrines within the precincts such as Okumiya and Kashima Shingu. It is considered one of the three shrines of Togoku, along with Kashima Shrine in Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture and Ikusu Shrine in Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Katori Shrine used to undergo Shikinen Sengu every 20 years since its founding, but after the current main shrine was built in Genroku 13 (1700), Sengu was no longer held. The current main shrine is designated as a national important cultural property.

Route to Katori Shrine

This time, I took a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Katori Shrine. My favorite car is a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. This bike is a model that combines the characteristics of a cruiser and a tourer, and can be enjoyed for a wide range of purposes, from city riding to long touring.

The starting point is Chuo Ward. From here, take the Shuto Expressway Inner Loop Line. There are some areas on the Shuto Expressway that have dedicated lanes for motorcycles, but please ride carefully. Also, please note that ETC cards can be used at toll gates on the Shuto Expressway, but cannot be used in motorcycle lanes.

At Edobashi JCT, transfer to the Shuto Expressway No. 6 Mukojima Line. From here, you will be running along the Sumida River for a while. You can enjoy fireworks displays and water buses along the Sumida River, but you can also enjoy the scenery from a bike.

At Ryogoku JCT, transfer to Shuto Expressway No. 7 Komatsugawa Line. From here, we will run along the Edogawa River. Edogawa has cycling roads and fishing spots, but you can also enjoy riding a bike.

Enter Keiyo Road from Shuto Expressway No. 7 Komatsugawa Line. Keiyo Road is an expressway that runs from Tokyo Bay to Chiba Prefecture. On Keiyo Road, you can see landmarks such as Disneyland and Makuhari Messe, but be careful of your speed when riding a motorcycle.

From Keiyo Road, enter Higashi-Kanto Expressway. Higashi-Kanto Expressway is an expressway that connects Chiba Prefecture to Ibaraki Prefecture. The Higashi-Kanto Expressway has tourist spots such as Narita Airport and Choshi, but please be careful when taking breaks and refueling on your bike.

Exit the Higashi-Kanto Expressway at Sawara Katori IC. From here, it takes about 10 minutes to Katori Shrine using Prefectural Route 55. Prefectural Route 55 is a road where you can see the old townscape of Sawara and the scenery of the water village. While riding a bike, enjoy the scenery around you.

Highlights of Katori Shrine

We arrived at Katori Shrine. Here we will introduce some of the highlights of Katori Shrine.



The large torii gate on Omotesando of Katori Shrine is painted in vermilion and is about 15 meters high. This torii gate is also located on the Tone River riverbed, about 2 kilometers away from the main shrine. This is because there is a legend that in the past, people visiting the shrine by boat would pass through the torii gate because the area was on the ocean. Even now, during the Shikinen Shinko Festival, which is held once every 12 years, a boat carrying a mikoshi goes up the Tone River.

Main shrine


The main hall of Katori Shrine was built in 1700 and is designated as a national important cultural property. The main shrine has an architectural style called Sangensha Nagaru-zukuri, and the roof is covered with copper plates. In front of the main shrine, there is a shrine and a worship hall. The shrine is a place to store items such as nusa and tamagushi to be offered before the shrine. The shrine is a place where worshipers join hands.

treasure house


The Treasure Museum located within the grounds of Katori Shrine displays valuable treasures and cultural properties owned by the shrine. At the treasure hall, you can see about 200 items, including national treasures and important cultural properties. Of particular note are parts of the main hall of the Okumiya Shrine, which is said to be the oldest wooden building in Japan, and Katori Kan, which is said to be the oldest wooden tablet in Japan.



The inner shrine in the precincts of Katori Shrine enshrines the Aramitama of Tsunetsunushi Okami. Aramitama represents the powerful side of God and is in contrast to the peaceful Gotama. The main hall of the Okumiya is an old building that has been designated as a national important cultural property. In the inner shrine, sacred horses and portable shrines are dedicated. The inner shrine is located about 1 kilometer away from the main shrine, but worshipers can reach it on foot or by bicycle.

Kashima Shingu


Kashima Shingu, located within the precincts of Katori Shrine, enshrines the spirits of Kashima Shrine. Kashima Jingu is a shrine located in Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture, and is said to bring blessings such as military luck, academics, and entertainment. Kashima Shingu is located to the left of the main shrine. In front of Kashima Shingu, a large shimenawa rope, the symbol of Kashima Jingu, is hung.

Katori Shrine motorcycle parking lot


Katori Shrine has a parking lot exclusively for motorcycles. The motorcycle parking lot is on the right side of the main shrine. Motorcycle parking is available free of charge, but the number of spaces is limited. Also, please note that the motorcycle parking lot is open 24 hours a day, but there is no lighting at night.


This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Katori Shrine. Katori Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is revered as the guardian deity of the eastern region. At Katori Shrine, you can visit the main shrine, inner shrine, Kashima Shingu, and more. You can also see national treasures and important cultural properties at the treasure hall on the grounds.

Touring to Katori Shrine takes about an hour and a half. You can drive smoothly on the highway. Also, on Prefectural Route 55, you can enjoy the scenery of Sawara’s old townscape and water villages while riding.

The tour to Katori Shrine was a wonderful trip where you could feel the history and culture. Riding a bike means you have the freedom to move at your own pace. Riding a bike changes the scenery you see and the wind you feel. This is a touring tour that we highly recommend for those who love motorcycles.

At the end of the article, we will add the English translation of Katori Jingu. Katori Shrine is called Katori Shrine in English. Touring to Katori Shrine can be expressed in English as “Touring to Katori Shrine”. I would like to continue to go to various places on my bike and introduce myself to English.

The above was sent to you by _hiroyuki.ta. Next time we look forward to!