Chichibu Three-Shrine Tour
Hello! We would like to introduce you to three of Chichibu’s shrines.
1 Mitsumine Shrine
First on the list is Mitsumine Shrine. A grand mitsutorii (archway) welcomes you at the entrance.
After passing through the torii, the path is lined on either side with many tōrō or garden lanterns. The tranquil atmosphere makes for a peaceful walk!
On the right, the rear shrine, yōhaiden, appears. The stairs lead to a breathtaking scenic spot with a sweeping view of the mountains of Chichibu!
After taking a break and upon proceeding further, a giant statue appears. It is a big and impressive bronze statue of Takeru Yamamoto, the founder of Mitsumine Shrine.
Next appears the zuishinmon. It is a vividly colored, stately gate.
And finally, there it is: the main building of Mitsumine Shrine! The stairs lead to a grand and magnificent front shrine, aweing one and all. It is said that in addition to warding off disasters such as fires and theft, many prayers are answered here, including business prosperity, wishes, economic fortune and more. It is a true spot of power!
On either side of the front shrine are 800-year-old sacred trees. It is said that if you take three breaths and pray facing the tree, its spirit will flow through your body. Let’s all try powering up!
Incidentally, Mitsumine Shrine has wolf guardian statues instead of the traditional komainu (guardian lion-dogs). Wolves are respected as being messengers of the Gods. You can meet these wolves at a variety of different places in the shrine. Visit Mitsumine Shrine and find your favorite wolf!
On your way back, why not stop by Sanrokutei? You can enjoy eating one of Chichibu’s local specialties, Nakatsugawa Imo Dengaku (potato skewers baked and coated in miso), while gazing at the serene mountains of Chichibu: a truly exquisite experience!
Name Mitsumine Shrine
Address 298-1 Mitsumine, Chichibu-shi, Saitama-ken 369-1902
Open Hours 9 a.m.〜4 p.m.
Official website http://www.mitsuminejinja.or.jp/
2 Chichibu Shrine
Next on the list is Chichibu Shrine. Unlike Mitsumine Shrine, Chichibu Shrine is located in an urban area. It was founded over 2,100 years ago, and has a very long and rich history. The Chichibu Night Festival, which is designated as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and is one of Japan’s three great float festivals, is also famous and well known.
On passing through the large torii (archway) and the brightly colored shrine gate, the main shrine adorned with richly colored carvings appears.
The main shrine is adorned with four famous carvings, namely, The Cub-Rearing Tiger, The Three Energetic Monkeys, The Owl of the North Star, and The Chained Dragon.
Don’t forget to try mizu-uramikuji (water fortune slip)! The fortune will only appear on the paper if it is dipped in water originating from Mount Bukō.We tried our luck and got…
Excellent luck! It seems we were awarded with good luck straight away.
Visit Chichibu Shrine and feel the rich history for yourself!
3 Hodosan Shrine
Last but not least is Hodosan Shrine located in Nagatoro.
Visitors are welcomed at the entrance by twin pines, symbolizing a prayer for matrimonial happiness and favorable partnership, as well as a beautiful torii (archway).
The stairs lead to the main shrine.
In front of the main shrine, komainu, or lion-dogs that guard the Gods, stand on either side.
The shrine is adorned with overwhelmingly splendid and divine carvings, with a dragon at its center.
Behind the main shrine lies another shrine, Hogyokuinari Shrine. It is said that if you visit the shrine after losing something, it will reappear. The bright red torii (archway) standing in the midst of nature and greenery is a mysterious sight.
Visit Hodosan Shrine to cleanse your spirit and be filled with power!
Name Hodosan Shrine (Hogyokuinari Shrine)
Address 1828 Nagatoro, Nagatoromachi, Chichibu-gun,Saitama 369-1305
Open Hours Shrine office and amulet counter open hours:
April – September: 8:30 a.m.〜5 p.m.
October – March: 8:30 a.m.〜4:30 p.m.
Official Website http://www.hodosan-jinja.or.jp/
And thus ends the Chichibu Three-Shrine Tour. It is possible to visit all three shrines in one day, so I hope that you will visit the shrines and gain energy!