During the Emperor ichijo era, Suga Shrine was called Gion Goryoryu as a guardian shirine after ‘bringing’ god from Gion Yasaka shrine in Kyoto by a person who is deeply involved with the imperial family. In a long history, Suga shrine is well-known as shrine of worshipers as it is revered by successive lords and feudal lords, and the landlord Tokugawa Yorinobu. Also many money donations are executed. Since the 1,000th anniversary was held in 1968, this shrine was built 1051 years ago and one of the oldest shrines in Minabe-town.
Main Shrine has 3 palaces designated as an important cultural property in 1968 by Wakayama prefecture for its valuable existence in the Kinan region where there are few old buildings. The newest palace was built about 300 years ago.
As a benefit , god of fertility of five grains, improvement of literary arts, ancestor of Japanese morality, and extermination of disasters and plagues, and is also worshiped as a god of marriage.
Suga shrine autumn festival is held on Oct 8th and the 9th every year reproducing the events when the deity was moved from Kyoto Gion Shrine during the Heian period. A procession with a portable shrine travels here from Akiha Shrine in Minabe-hama through 11 local areas.
The rituals of this festival date from the Heian (794 – 1185) and Kamakura (1185–1333) eras. It was designated by the prefecture as an intangible folk cultural property in March 2018. It’s called ‘Goryosan no aki matsuri’ among locals. They also call it the ‘horse festival’ after a component of the event that’s fun for everyone to watch.