FEATURE

Ancient Burial Mounds in Fukuoka! (Hakata & South Area)

The most famous burial mound in Japan is Daisenryo Kofun in Osaka, so you may not expect similar sites in Fukuoka.

However, with over 2,000 years of history, Fukuoka actually has several burial mound sites, which are easily accessible from the city. Here are some of the most notable burial mound sites in the city.

Explore a Burial Mound Located in a Shrine

那珂八幡古墳

Naka Hachimangu Shrine, which was built on a hill.

The Naka Hachiman Kofun is located in the grounds of Naka Hachimangu Shrine in Hakata Ward. It is the largest burial mound that has been discovered in the region. This burial mound is estimated to be more than 75 meters long and 8 meters high. This burial mound was built in the early 4th century, and the shrine was built over it later on. Artifacts such as copper mirrors were found in the burial chambers of the mound.

nakahachiman2

The main shrine building where many ema (votive wooden plaques) are displayed.

Naka Hachiman Kofun

  • Hakata Area

Take a JR train bound for Tosu from Hakata Station, get off at Takeshita Station and walk 7 minutes.

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Enter a Cavernous Stone Chamber. Explore a Burial Mound Enshrining the God Acala

今里不動古墳

The view from the entrance. A stone chamber has been built using large rocks.

Kanenokuma in Hakata Ward has a large burial mound called “Imazato Fudo Kofun” which is 34 meters in diameter and 9 meters in height. It was built between the late 6th century and early 7th century. The shape of the mound can hardly be seen as it is covered by a grove of trees, but in one area, large granite rocks have been arranged to make a chamber, which is open to the public. The full length of the mound is 11.2 meters and it is one of the largest in the region. In the back of the chamber you can find statues of the god Acala. Visitors can explore or make an offering and say a prayer.

今里不動古墳

You will find an entrance to the shrine to Acala after going down the stairs along the edge of the forest.

那珂八幡古墳

The image of Acala is engraved on the wall in the back of the chamber.

Imazato Fudo Kofun

  • Hakata Area

Get off at the Nishitetsu Bus Imazato stop and walk 5 minutes.

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Explore a Burial Mound in the Suburbs

梅林古墳

Umebayashi Kofun has been carefully restored. You can walk up on top of the hill mound.

“Umebayashi Kofun” is located in the Bairin residential area in Jonan Ward. As this hill mound has been restored, visitors can tell at a glance that the mound originally had a keyhole shape. It is 27 meters long and 3 meters high, which is rather small for a mound, and it was probably built in the late 5th century. Although the area around the mound has been developed as a historical park, it is a little strange to see the residential buildings so close to the mound.

Umebayashi Kofun

  • South Area

Get off at Umebayashi Station on the Nanakuma subway line and walk 11 minutes.

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As you can see, ancient burial mounds can be found all around you in Fukuoka. Why don’t you add a walk to an ancient burial mound to the plans for your visit?

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