One of the more popular Shrines in Fukuoka City is Sumiyoshi Shrine which is located within a 1 km radius of Hakata Station. Realistically a very close and conveniently located Urban site and quite remarkable that such a quiet and open area can be situated so close to a major Train Station. You are enclosed in such a nature filled area that you could be confused that you are in the countryside and not a large metropolitan city, such as Fukuoka.
This Shrine is a great way to connect to Japanese History and Culture. The Shinto religion encompasses everything Japanese and it is believed that the gods created Japan in its purest form. Sumo, the National Sport of Japan, was originally performed as a Shinto ritual and the Deity of the Sumiyoshi Shrine worshipped Sumo as a result.
In fact, before the annual Kyushu Basho in Fukuoka every November you can see a Sumo Ceremony at the Sumiyoshi Shrine whereby all the Wrestlers pray for healthy and prosperity for the last tournament of the year. I haven`t seen this ceremony yet although I have been to many sumo matches in the past. In the future I will attempt to get some photos and videos of this special and highly respected occasion.
A trip to Sumiyoshi Shrine will be remember for a long time to come.