– Onsen-ji – 温泉寺 – Gero(下呂) – September 1, 2018   One of the top three onsen towns in Japan is Gero Onsen in Gifu Prefecture. It’s a lovely river-side city with many onsen to visit. If you venture little ways up the mountain away from the river, you can visit the onsen temple, Onsen-ji. One story form Gero Onsen’s history of over 1000 years is this. In 1265, the onsen’s hot water stopped. The following year, the villagers noticed a the flashing white wings of a white heron dancing on the riverbed of the Hida River every day. When…

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Kogane Shrine

Goshuin for Kogane Shrine

– Kogane Shrine – 金神社 – Gifu – 岐阜 – August 31, 2018 Kogane Shrine is written with the kanji for gold/money, but even without knowing any kanji it’s pretty obvious what people come here for: Luck with money. Why? When you walk up to the shrine, you’re welcomed by a giant gold torii. It is a shrine near the middle of Gifu and is closely connected to two other shrines in the area: Inaba Shrine and Kashimori Shrine. The god enshrined here is Nunoshihime-no-mikoto, wife of Inishiki-Irihiko-no-mikoto who is enshrined at Inaba Shrine and the mother of Ichihaya-no-mikoto at…

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Kasuga Shrine (Seki)

Kasuga Shrine Goshuin

– Kasuga Shrine – 春日大社 – Seki(関市) – October 8, 2017   Kasuga Shrine is a medium sized shrine in Seki located next to the Sword Tradition Museum. It is a swordsmithing shrine that was built in 1590. I went to the Seki Hamono Matsuri (Seki Cutlery Festival) to buy myself a nice cooking knife and to have fun. While there, I dropped by the shrine.  On that day, they also had an exhibit of old clothes and masks that you could go inside and see. They’re old enough that everyone who went in to see had to wear a surgical…

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Tejikarao Shrine

Tejikarao Shrine goshuin

– Tejikarao Shrine – 手力雄神社 – Kakamigahara (各務原市) – August 26, 2017   Tejikarao Shrine is one of the five major shrines in Kakamigahara. It enshrines Ame-no-Tajikarao and is associated with Ise Grand Shrine. While Oda Nobunaga was attempting to take Gifu Castle, he came through Kakamigahara with the intent of destroying everything in his path. This was a common strategy for him. However, when he was preparing to attack the shrine a strange fog blew in. It was so uncanny that Nobunaga was deeply unsettled to the point that he apologized to the gods and prayed for victory at…

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Hachidai Hakuryuu Shrine

– Hachidai Hakuryuu Taisha – 八大白龍大社 – Kakamigahara (各務原市) – April 16, 2017   I’m not 100% sure how to read the kanji for this shrine. Despite the “taisha” in the name, it’s a smallish~medium sized shrine. It’s probably read one of these three ways: Hachidai Hakuryuu Taisha Hatsuta Hakuryuu Taisha Yahiro Hakuryuu Taisha Last year I visited this shrine for the fireworks at the big Ogase Hanabi Taikai. It was crazy crowded and dark and I didn’t really get to see much. When I arrived, I was surprised to see so many people. I wanted to take more photos…

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