One of our group members who I introduced before in my blog currently devotes to be a shrine priest, so that we always visit to some local shrines and temples by the annual tours. I just picked up main ones here to introduce to you.
Before going to our accommodation on the 1st day, we dropped at Kozan park to see the 5 stories wooden pagoda of Ruriko-ji Temple, which is the 10th oldest pagoda in Japan. It was built in 1442 by one of samurai worriers and is registered as a national treasure. The balance of scenery with the garden and the pagoda was so excellent like a painting and it has already had some plum blossoms in the area even though it was in January! It is worth to visit when you come to stay in Yuda Onsen.
The shrine was built in 1520 as a kind of brunch shrine of Ise Gingu, the head of Shrine in Japan, therefore, it is called “Western Ise Gingu” among people. According to my group members who have visited to Ise Gingu (I’ve never been there…), Yanaguchi Daijingu seems like “Small size of Ise Gingu”. When we visited there on the 2nd day of our trip, however, the weather was relatively snowy and very cold outside. We were walking around the area in the terrible weather, but surprisingly, the snow had stopped for a while and the sunshine was coming when we reached in front of the main building! In the godly atmosphere, we could pray for our wishes and feel strong power of gods…
The shrine was a very photogenic spot and is becoming popular among tourists thanks to SNS spreading. The arrays of red torii gates lining up on the quay are so attractive and the place was one of highlights in our tour. The shrine doesn’t have a long history compared to other shrines, just built almost 60 years ago by fishermen in the area who received the annunciation from a white fox (the fox god). There is an offertory box on the top of the larger torii gate with 6m heights and visitors were trying to throw coins into the box. If you succeed to put your coin in, your wish will be come true. I failed it, but some of our members did it!
Besides, you can see the phenomenon of raising seawater high from a hole made naturally if you walk along the quay, which seemed like very dynamic nature attractions. Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is well-known for arrays of red torii gates, but Motonosumi shrine looks much wilder and is worthwhile visiting to feel nature gods.
The shrine was our last visiting spot of the tour. It was built in 1370 and also registered an important national treasure.Then, I found the very rare amulet there! It is an amulet for toilet! We have a various kind of gods for Shintoism in Japan and the god of toilet is also one of them. We believe that keeping toilets clean and fresh air can call our fortune. I hung the amulet on the wall of my toilet soon after coming back home!
Even though the same “Shrine” and “Temples”, we have lots of unique traditional places like these throughout Japan. I will finish the series of episode of my trip in Yamaguchi next time. Of course, it is about Onsen in the area 🙂