One of Itamuro onsen town’s three major shrines, Kinomata Jizo is a shrine associated with prayers for children.
Located deep in the mountains towards the left side of Itamuro’s main road, a woodland path gives way to Japanese Judas Trees that are believed to be more than 500 years old. At the base of these trees, a collection of ‘jizo’ (Buddhist statues) can be found.
During war-time, many people would gather by the sacred jizo to pray for their children’s well-being. According to folklore, farmers in the Aizu region who happened upon the jizo and attempted to take them home with them, always ended up returning them to their original place, for fear of being cursed.
The shrine holds its festival day each year on the 24th of April.