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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Above, the stone steps leading to the Honden (main shrine). Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Kamakura is famous for its Great Buddha, but it is also famous for the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

According to an article at Tokyo Daily Life:
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine serves as the center of Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture where the Bakufu (Shogunate government) was once based and there remain a lot of shrines and temples. 
The shrine is a popular sightseeing spot and many people visit there. Especially during the first three days of the New Year about 2.5 millions people visit there for Hatsumode (the practice of visiting a shrine or temple at the beginning of the New Year). 
The enshrined deities are the Emperor Ojin, Hime no kami (Munakata Sanjojin [Three Goddesses of Munakata, those are considered as one goddess]) and Empress Jingu. The Emperor Ojin is identified with Hachimanshin (God of War) and the three gods are called “Hachiman Sanshin” (the three Hachiman deities). Hachimanshin is the god deemed to be the ancestor of Imperial Family and had been worshiped by many Samurai. Hachimangu shrines, which enshrine Hachimanshin are said to be the most numerous shrines in Japan. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is one of the three great Hachimangu shrines in Japan along with Usa Jingu Shrine and Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine. 
The present Honden (the main shrine) was built by Ienari TOKUGAWA, a Shogun of the Edo Bakufu in 1828. It is a representative building of the Edo period (1603 – 1868). The vermillion building is beautiful and splendid. In addition, the building is located in a high place, so the view of Kamakura city from there is wonderful.
Above, the Honden (main shrine). Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Tourists staying in Tokyo can easily get to Kamakura for a leisurely day-trip.

To read more, go here.

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