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Mitsumine shrine~Where to see

Article writtenFebruary 1st,2020
A memorandum of facts about shrines visited. Mitsumine shrine is a shrine located in the mountain area of Chichibu, Saitama prefecture. It is told that Yamato Takeru founded the shrine and is known for the unique cult of wolves as a "Yama-no-kami". Where to see at Mitsumine shrine.
Please check official information before visiting. Information here may be out of date.
Please check official information before visiting. Information here may be out of date.

Mitsu-torī

The torī seen on the main path to the shrine, is a "mitsu-torī". "Mitsu-torī" is a style of torī which looks like 3 torīs combined. This style of torī is also called "miwa-torī".

Mitsu-torī

Zuishin-mon

"Zuishin-mon" gate was built in 1792. It originally was a "Niou-mon", a gate which has a pair of statues of "Niou", but these statues were removed during the separation of Shinto from Buddhism in the Meiji era. The original gate was built in 1691.

"Zuishin-mon" was repaired in 2004, celebrating 1900 years from establishment.

Zuishin-mon

Seidō-torī

"Seidō-torī" is a bronze myōjin style torī built in 1845. It was dedicate by a group of worshippers in Edo, and was carried on a raft on the Arakawa river.

Seidō-torī

Chōzuya

The "Chōzuya" , a watershed to cleanse your hands and mouth with water for purification, next to the Seidō-torī was built in1853. It is covered with beautiful carvings of dragons.

In winter season the water is stopped to prevent the piping from being damaged by freezing. Instead, "haraegushi", a wooden wand used in Shinto rituals, is used.

Chōzuya

Yatsumune-tōrō

"Yatsumune-toro" is a light tower built in 1857. It is 6m high. Usually this kind of light tower is made by metal or stone but this one is made by wood which makes it rare.

Yatsumune-tōrō

Haiden and Honden

The "haiden", worship hall, was built in 1800, and the "honden", main shrine, was built in 1661.

Haiden and Honden

The "haiden", is "Irimoya-zukuri", hip-and-gable roof. The "honden", is "Kasuga-zukuri", a style of gable roof typified by the honden of Kasuga Taisha in Nara.

The "haiden" and the "honden" was repaired in 2004, celebrating 1900 years from establishment, and are covered by colorful carvings.

Honden
Haiden from the front
The beautiful carvings of the Haiden

The dragon in the stone paving

On the left side of the Haiden, there is a part of the stone paving which has a pattern looking like a dragon. The dragon will appear when the stone paving is wet.

This dragon suddenly appeared on the year of 2012 which was a year of the dragon in the Oriental Zodiac.

The dragon in the stone paving

Goshimboku

Large "goshimboku"s, sacred trees, stand on both sides of the stairs leading to the haiden. It is said to be more than 800 years old and was dedicated by Hatakeyama Shigetada a samurai in the Kamakura era.

Each "goshimboku" can be touched and is said that you should get the "Ki (氣)", spiritual powers from the "goshimboku".

Goshimboku on the left
Goshimboku on the right

Shōkyōin and Kōunkaku

"Shōkyōin" was built in 1739 and originally it was the main temple building of Misuminesan with a statue of "Kannon Bosatsu" placed inside. This buddhism style building was abandoned after the separation of Shinto from Buddhism in the Meiji era, but was repaired in 1991 to preserve it as a historical building. Today it is a tearoom inside and known for the coffee jelly only served for 20 per day. It is open from 9am to 5pm.

Next to "Shōkyōin" is the "Kōunkaku" . It is a "shukubō", a lodging facility for worshippers. There is also an onsen that can be used without lodging. The onsen is open for visitors from 10:30am to 6pm and the fee is ¥600.

Shōkyōin
Kōunkaku

The tree of enmusubi

"Enmusubi-no-ki", the tree of enmusubi (making relations), is a cypress and a fir tree standing close to each other. It is said that it will bring you good luck on fulfillment of love and happy marriage.

In front their is a "nassho" where you can write down the name of who you love or who you want to tell your feelings.

"Nassho" under the tree of enmusubi
The tree of enmusubi

Statue of Yamato Takeru

It is said that Yamato Takeru founded Mitsumine shrine. When he saw the beautiful mountains and rivers of this area he decided to built the shrine in memory of Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto, the 2 gods said to have created the islands of Japan. The statue itself is 5.2m high and 15m high with the pedestal.

Statue of Yamato Takeru

Yōhaiden

The "Yōhaiden" is where you "yōhai", worship from distance, the "Okumiya", rear shrine, located on the top of Mount Myōhō which is about an 1 hour and 30 minutes walk by mountain trail.

It is the only place you can see the landscape below the mountain and you can have a panoramic view of the Chichubu basin. It is also a famous point for seeing a sea ​​of ​​clouds.

The stairway leading to the Yōhaiden
Yōhaiden
Mount Myōhō seen from the Yōhaiden

Okumiya

The "Okumiya" is the rear shrine of Mitsumine shrine, built in 1741, located on the top of Mount Myōhō.

It is about an 1 hour 30 minutes, 2.5km, walk from the trailhead near Mitsumine municipal parking. Some mountaineering equipment is needed since it is a steep mountain trail. The trail opens on the 3rd of May and closes in the 9th of October.

Okumiya Torī

Mitsuminesan museum and Mitsumine shinryō house

Near the entrance of the main path to the shrine there is the Mitsuminesan museum. Items related to the cult of Mitsuminesan and treasures owned by the shrine are displayed here.

Entrance fee is ¥300 for general public. Opening hours are from 9am to4pm.

Mitsuminesan museum

Near Mitsumine municipal parking is the Mitsumine shinryō house. People actually lived in this house, until it was relocated here in 1979 for preservation. It used to be in the south side of the shrine where used to be a sacred area owned by the shrine.

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