Chapter 1077: Sefa Utaki (斎場御嶽)

Sefa Utaki (斎場御嶽) is one of the most important places in Okinawa. The indigenous people of Okinawa, Ryukyuan people used this site as a sacred place for prayer.
Sefa Utaki is located on a densely forested hillside in the south-east of the main Okinawa island, along the ocean side.
When entering to Sefa Utaki (斎場御嶽) there was a little room and everyone who had a ticket had to go in to watch a small introduction video about the history and also a health and safety clip about wearing comfy shoes, and following the path.
Following the path in, through the bushes you can see the beautiful big blue.
In the distance you can see a flat island…
It’s Kudaka Island (久高島), known to be the Island of the Gods where holy rituals were held.
And this is why you shouldn’t wear heels. There are many many rocky pathways.
Sefa Utaki is still to this day a very important place for the Okianwan people for praying. It’s very different to the mainland of Japan. Okinawa itself has a history that separates itself from the mainland. Here people pray in nature and the vibe is very relaxing and peaceful.
The priestess is the spiritual guardian of the Ryukyu kingdom. The woman of the royal family were usually nominated to be a priestess. The traditions were carried out for over 400 years.
There were many naturally formed rocks. Some with very visible tree roots hugging the the rocks.
When you look up you barely can see the sky as it’s covered by the tall trees.
This area is called Yuinchi which means Kitchen in the Ryukyuan language in the palace. It is however interpreted as: the place fully filled with abundance of harvests.
The bricks are part of the holy site and we were instructed to leave them alone.
It was so quiet, I could only hear the trees sway and rain.
They said the first priestess was from 1470 and the last priestess was from 1875. There was a total 15 generations of priestesses.
The rocks are naturally formed. So beautiful. Fun fact, they said because this is a place of holy worship, the body should be cleansed by drinking some water before worship.
When people say Sefa Utaki. This is what most people think of.
The arch is called Sangui.
The arch is formed by 2 stalactites rocks. The triangle space is used for worship.
In English is called just the Triangle Shaped Opening. There are many remains like jewels and gold.
Over here was Shikiyodayuru and Amadayuru Jugs. They are placed there to collect holy water that drips down from the 2 stalactites above.
A panoramic picture of the gigantic rock!
It’s quite an interesting concept. The water collected are holy and it used for the rituals.
It is said that the priestess would gain immortal powers from God through performing the ritual called, Ubinadi. Ubinadi is where the priestess would stroke her forehead with the holy water.
The 2 large stalactites above the jugs.
It felt like entering a different world.
This area was called Ufugui which was another place for worship. It has a small platform.
The arch is a lot more narrow than I had thought but very beautiful.
Some pathways were very slippery from the rain.
I had so much fun visiting Sefa Utaki. If you’re in Okinawa you really have to visit!! I think the admission fee per adult was about 300 Yen.

—Tofu

4 thoughts on “Chapter 1077: Sefa Utaki (斎場御嶽)

  1. I was able to visit Sefa Utaki last year and I can understand why it was an important spiritual place to the Okinawan people. It’s hard to describe, but there’s something really unique about how that place feels.

    Liked by 1 person

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