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Goin’ Japanesque!

Nagasaki Castella Shrine: Unique and Cute Hidden Sightseeing Spot

Japanese confection “Castella (sponge cake)” was originally brought from Portugal a few hundred years ago and has evolved in a uniquely Japanese way. In Japan Nagasaki Prefecture is considered its home, and “Fukusaya (Map)” in Nagasaki City is famous as one of the long-established stores of castella. 

Nagasaki City, which is famous for castella, also has many tourist destinations. We would like to introduce “Castella Shrine”, a little-known mysterious tourist spot among others.

When you are heading to Glover Garden, a world heritage site, there are many souvenir shops on Glover Street. Castella Shrine is located in the souvenir shop called “Mominoki (fir tree) Core” on the street. Photo:


At the store front of “Mominoki Core”, the yellow and red colors show strong presence, which are associated with the yellow color of the castella and the red of the shrines. This is the Castella Shrine. Torii gates are lined from the entrance, and by climbing down the stairs you step forward to the shrine that enshrines the “Castella Daimyojin”.

Writer’s Photo

Castella Shrine is a simple shrine attached to a souvenir shop, but the sign and torii are eye-catching from a distance. Many couples and men and women with unrequited love appear to visit it, as the cute “Castella Daimyojin” is enshrined as a matchmaking god.

Red torii are lined up and they create an atmosphere similar to that of Inari Jinja. Even when you are going down the stairs, bright image colors of yellow and red jump into your eyes. Once you stepped down all the stairs, you see the “Castella Daimyojin” and how adorable it is.

Castella Daimyojin (Writer’s Photo)

Here it is, “Castella Daimyojin”, and its face reminds you of a baby chick, with a small puckered mouth. You cannot help but smile at his cuteness.

Like any other shrines, Castella Shrine is fully equipped with a box for offerings, bells, “omikuji” fortune-telling papers, “ema” wooden plaques. It offers an appropriate environment to give your prayer.

Writer’s Photo

Because it is a matchmaking god, when you visit it as a couple, please offer your prayers together. If you have unrequited love or wish your love to be fulfilled, you are recommended to write your wish on ema or buy a charm and give it to the person you love.  

Omikuji (Writer’s Photo)

Some people tie their omikuji papers after reading them to the board illustrated with the cute Castella Daimyojin before they leave. When your omikuji has a mark of “当” in it, I heard you can receive something nice as a gift.

Ema (絵馬), Writer’s Photo

In addition, ema with which you wish your unrequited love to be fulfilled is available at 300 yen each. It is a small cute ema with a picture of “Castella Daimyojin” printed on the back, just as you might have expected. Taking a look at the ema on display, a majority appeared to have wishes written by young women who are in the early stages of love.


The shrine itself is small on a small piece of land as it is attached to a souvenir shop. But as a matter of fact, the presence of the torii and cute Castella Daimyojin appear to be attracting people, and many tourists stop by it as a sightseeing spot.

Castella Daimyojin, the sweet match-making god. When you visit Glover Garden, a world heritage site, please don’t forget checking out this interesting shrine. Information: Map

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About the author

I love absorbing new things. I would like to make use of my hobbies of travel, photography and gourmet to show you the appeals of Japan, right here from Hyogo.

View all articles by Miyuki