One of the many theories regarding the origin of the name Kabushima is that it means “island of the gods.”
Kabushima in May, when the entire island is covered in the yellow color of canola blossoms and the black-tailed gulls are flying overhead, takes on a mystical appearance that seems almost to affirm this theory.
Kabushima Shrine has long been worshipped by the local people as a shrine dedicated to Benzaiten, a guardian deity of prosperity in commerce and safety during fishing voyages.
If a bird ever lets loose on you in what may seem like a stroke of bad luck, try visiting the shrine office.
It is actually considered good luck to receive a "special surprise" from a black-tailed gull, known as divine messengers, and you can even get a special certificate.
A fire on November 5, 2015, destroyed the shrine grounds, but donations from all over Japan helped rebuild it over the next five years.
Kabushima Shrine, now renewed, continues to watch over the port city of Hachinohe as its iconic symbol.
You can fully enjoy your visit to Kabushima by stopping by exhibits on the history of Kabushima, the black-tailed gulls, and the Michinoku Coastal Trail around the shrine, the Kabushima Rest Area, where you can observe nesting gulls up close, and Kabunya, the local specialties shop area full of original items and various souvenirs.
● Click here to book activities you can enjoy in the Hachinohe area: