The god of Suga Shrine was brought from Gion Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto. Thus it was initially known as Gion Goryoryu. Its 1000th anniversary was celebrated in 1968, and it’s now more than 1050 years old.
The main shrine has 3 palaces designated as an important cultural property in 1968 by Wakayama Prefecture, where there are relatively few old buildings. The newest palace was built about 300 years ago.
Worshippers pray here for agricultural prosperity, protection from disaster, and for fortune in marriage.
Suga Shrine’s 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.