Naritasan Shinshoji: Great Main Hall

– Naritasan Shinshoji – 成田山新勝寺 – – Great Main Hall – 大本堂 – Narita (成田) – December 27, 2017 The Great Main Hall (Daihondo) was built in 1986, making it one of the newer buildings on the grounds. When you walk through the gate, across the bridge, and up the stairs, this is the huge building that dominates the plaza. To the right of it is the beautifully painted three story pagoda that was built in 1712. I visited home for the first time in almost two years during winter vacation this year. On the way home I had a…

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Gosha Shrine / Suwa Shrine

– Gosha Shrine / Suwa Shrine -五社神社/諏訪神社– Hamamatsu (浜松) – October 21, 2017   Gosha Shrine / Suwa Shrine is a nice sized shrine in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. There used to be two separate shrines, but they merged in 1960. It’s not a very far walk from Hamamatsu Station. I visit Hamamatsu every year for the big Zen Nihon Iaido Renmei Taikai. This year I decided to go a bit early on Saturday so I could visit a shrine or two before the banquet. It was raining pretty hard, so I only went to one: Gosha Shrine / Suwa…

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Kasuga Shrine

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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Masumida Shrine

– Masumida Jinja – 真清田神社 Ichinomiya (一宮市) – July 28, 2017   Masumida Shrine was the ichinomiya, or main shrine, of old Owari Province. It was built at least 1400 years ago and enshrines Amenoho no Akari no Mikoto. Every year in April is the Plum Festival. At this event you can see some funny yabusame and a parade. I actually learned about goshuin when I was here with some friends. The huge Tanabata Matsuri that the city if famous for is held in late July. Food stalls start at the station and extend all the way to the shrine.…

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Miagatahikosha

Miagatahikosha Yatagarasu goshuin

– Miagatahikosha – 御県彦社 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017 In addition to the Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine goshuin, you can also get the Miagatahikosha goshuin. It features Yatagarasu. There is is lot of Yatagarasu imagery all over the Katsuura and Nachi area. According to legend, Yatagarasu guided Emperor Jimmu from Kumano to Yamato Province. You can also buy an omamori with Yatagarasu on it for victory. Because the same person wrote them, this goshuin and the Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine one look very similar. Kumano Nachi Taisha was the last location we visited before returning to Katsuura. It…

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Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine

Kumano Nachi Taisha's goshuin

– Kumano Nachi Taisha – 熊野那智大社 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017 Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine is one of the three main shrines of the Kumano Kodo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It and the neighboring Seiganto-ji are one of the few remaining jingu-ji. This was the last location we visited before returning to Katsuura. It was very hot and humid that day, especially after the rain. Taking a bath in the onsen at Nakanoshima Hotel was a wonderful end to the day. This goshuin is in my Nachi Falls goshuincho. Location

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Seiganto-ji

Seiganto-ji goshuin

– Seiganto-ji– 青岸渡寺 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017   Seiganto-ji is a Tendai Buddhist temple up on the mountain near Nachi Falls. It and the area around Nachi Falls is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located next to Nachi Grand Shrine, it is one of the few remaining jingu-ji. We visited on a Thursday during summer vacation. Since it was a weekday, it wasn’t very busy. We did have to wait for some sudden rain to stop before we walked up the mountain. The lady at the gift shop was nice enough to lend us some abandoned umbrellas.…

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Hirou Shrine

– Hirou Jinja– 飛瀧神社 – Nachi (那智) – July 20, 2017   Hirou Shrine is located at the base of Nachi Falls (Nachi no Taki) and enshrines the falls. The falls are the tallest unbroken, straight waterfall in Japan and this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are two Hirou Shrines: Hirou Shine Shamusho and Hirou Shrine Otakihaisho. The former is free, but in order to walk up close to the falls and see the latter, you need to pay a small fee. If you do, it’s beautiful. Nachi Falls are mesmerizing to watch. I sat around staring…

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Nachi Falls Goshuincho

Nachi Falls goshuincho

Nachi Falls Goshuincho When: July 20, 2017 Where: Hirou Shrine Shamusho and Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine Size: Large (12cm x 18cm)   I actually forgot my goshuincho when I went to Katsuura and Nachi for summer vacation in 2017, so I bought a new one at Nachi Falls. Since the Inuyama Castle goshuincho only had a few more blank pages left anyway. I actually bought this at Hirou Shrine near the base of the falls, but it says Kumano Nachi Taisha on the back. I can’t remember how much this was, but it was 1000 yen for the book and…

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