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The white "Ki" charm of Mitsumine shrine

Article writtenMay 16th,2018
Feb. 1st,2018
At Mitsumine shrine a "Ki" charm in white, a color of regeneration, is distributed only on the first day of the month. A visit to Mitsumine shrine located in the moutains of Chichibu, to feel the spiritual energies of the mountains, and to get the white "Ki" charm.
Recommend viewing in landscape mode.
Recommend viewing in landscape mode.

Mitsumine shrine, located in the mountain areas of Chichibu 1100m above sea level, is known to be a "Power-spot", places with spiritual energy, with the strongest power in the Kanto area. It is also famous for the white "Ki" charm distributed only on the first day of the month. "Ki(氣)" are spiritual powers. The "Ki" charm of other colors are distributed everyday. White is a color of regeneration and also means a new start. So the white "Ki" charm is only distributed on the first day, which is the start of a new month. The distribution of the "Ki" charm started in 2013, and it became a hot topic that a famous figure skater received good luck keeping it. Every month many people visit Mitsumine shrine to get this special charm.

A visit to Mitsumine shrine to feel the spiritual energies of the mountains, and to receive the white "Ki" charm.

01

It is still 7AM but a long traffic jam leading to Mitsumine shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

02

You can see the mountains of Chichibu.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

03

2 hours have passed but still not there yet.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

04

Waited 2 and a half hours and finally at the parking lot of Mitsumine shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

05

Walking from the parking lot to the shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

06

The entrance of Mitsumine shrine. The torii is a "Mitsu-torii", a very rare style of torii which is like 3 toriis combined.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

07

The "shingaku" carrying the name of the shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

08

Since wolves are the guardians of Mitsumine shrine, statues of wolves can be seen instead of a "Komainu" commonly seen in shrines.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

09

The card necessary to receive the white "Ki" charm. It is given out in front of the torii.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

10

The path starting from the torii leading to the main part of the shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

11

Many stone monuments are placed by the path.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

12

Looking back at the torii.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

13

What used to be a police box currently used as a shed.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

14

Passing by the former-police box, there is a crossroads. To the right is a stairway that leads to the "Youhaiden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

15

To the left is the path that leads to the shrine and the "Zuishinmon".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

16

The "Zuishinmon" gate was built in 1792. It originally was a "Nioumon", 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 and is told that it was in front of the "Haiden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

17

The sign of the shrine in front of the "Zuishinmon".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

18

A pair of wolves sit on both sides of the "Zuishinmon".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

19

Beautiful sculptures cover the "Zuishinmon".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

20

Looking back at the "Zuishinmon".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

21

Snow still remains and is very cold.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

22

Finally the shrine is in sight.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

23

Stairs leading to the main part of the shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

24

The torii is called "Seido-torii" meaning bronze torii. It was built in 1845.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

25

The "shingaku" that the "Seido-torii" carries.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

26

Next to "Seido-torii" there is a "chozuya", where you purify your self. The "Chozuya" is covered with beautiful sculptures too.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

27

Waiting in line to get to the "Haiden", the worship hall.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

28

Large "goshimboku"s, sacred trees stand on both sides of the stairs leading to the "Haiden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

29

Finally at the "Haiden" and worshipping.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

30

On the left side of the "Haiden", there is a part of the stone paving which has a pattern looking like a dragon. This dragon suddenly appeared on the year of 2012 which was a year of the dragon in the Oriental Zodiac.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

31

The "Haiden" covered with beautiful sculptures. It was built in 1800.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

32

Getting in line after worshipping to receive the white "Ki" charm.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

33

Finally received the white "Ki" charm.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

34

The white "Ki" charm is inside a wooden box. Each person can receive only one.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

35

White is said to be the color of sunlight or to be a color of sanctity and purity. White is also a color of regeneration.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

36

The "Goshuin" of Mitsumine shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

37

The "Haiden" and the "Goshimboku"s.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

38

Each "Goshimboku" can be touched and there is a long line to do so.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

39

Getting powers from the "Goshimboku".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

40

The "Goshimboku" on the other side. There is a long line here too.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

41

Looking up at the "Goshimboku".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

42

The "Chozuya" in front of the "Haiden". Usually at a "Chozuya" you use water to purify yourself but durring the winter water can freeze damaging the pipes. So you use a "haraegushi",a wooden wand used in Shinto rituals, instead.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

43

Looking down at the "Seido-torii" from the "Haiden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

44

The "Soreisha" is where the ancestor spirits are enshrined. Next to it the "Honden", main shrine which is behind the "Haiden" can be seen.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

45

23 "Sessha"s and "Massha"s, auxiliary shrines, stand on the right side of the "Honden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

46

Kunitokotachi shrine which enshrines "Kuninotokotachi", one of the primordial gods of the Universe.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

47

Yamato Takeru shrine which enshrines Yamato Takeru. Yamato Takeru is said to be the founder of Mitsumine shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

48

Ise shrine which enshrines "Amaterasu-omikami" and "Toyouke-omikami", the same gods enshrined in Ise Grand Shrine in Mie.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

49

Many "Massha"s.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

50

Some of the "Massha"s are a little large as this "Toshogu".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

51

Going back to the "Haiden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

52

In front of the "Haiden" there is a "Yatsumune-toro", a light tower built in 1857. Usually this kind of light tower is made by metal or stone but this one is made by wood which makes it rare.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

53

Starting to get back after finishing worshipping and getting the white "Ki" charm. A long line can be seen under the "Seido-torii".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

54

Looking back at the "Seido-torii" and the "Haiden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

55

Walking back. The line to the main part of the shrine has got very long.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

56

Approaching the "Zuishinmon" but the start of the line cannot be seen.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

57

The line to worship starts from in front of the "Zuishinmon".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

58

In front of the "Zuishinmon" there is another path that leads to the statue of Yamato Takeru.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

59

Going up the stairs. Some parts are slippery because of the snow.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

60

The statue of Yamato Takeru can be seen on top of the hill.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

61

Some stone memorials are placed on the side of the stairs.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

62

Going up the stairs and looking down, the "Zuishinmon" can be seen.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

63

The statue of Yamato Takeru on the top of the long stairway. He is said to be the founder of Mitsumine shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

64

Going up the other stairway in front of the "Zuishinmon", which leads to the "Youhaiden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

65

Going under the torii on top of the stairs there is the "Youhaiden".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

66

The "Youhaiden" is a place to "youhai", worship from distance, the "Okumiya" located on Mount Myohogatake. "Okumiya" is a rear shrine.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

67

If the weather is fine you can see Mount Myohogatake where the "Okumiya" is.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

68

The torii in front of the "Youhaiden". Both sides of this torii are the "front side" since the original route, which is a mountain trail, to the Mitsumine shrine leads to the path next to the "Youhaiden", and this torii will be the entrance to those who came from this route.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

69

A pair of wolves can be seen here too.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

70

The other statue of a wolf.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

71

There is still a long line of worshippers.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

72

Starting to snow and heading back. Looking back at the "Zuishinmon".
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

73

Going down the path.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

74

Back at the torii at the entrance.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

75

Looking back at the torii.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

76

The sign of Mitsumine shrine in front of the torii.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

77

The card necessary to get the white "Ki" charm is given out here.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

78

"Morokoshi-manju" sold near the shop near the torii. It is a a local specialty.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

79

Looking down at the parking lot. The weather is turning bad.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

80

Driving back to the main parts of Chichibu city, where you should visit is the icicles of Misotsuchi which can only be seen during the winter.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

81

200yen are required but you can get down to the river and can see the icicles up close.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

82

These icicles are made from water springing from the rocks. Some are made by man by pouring water.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

83

Getting very cold, and leaving the icicles
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

84

After enjoying the icicles, getting warm by the fire at the rest area.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

85

Eating "Miso-potato" by the fire. "Miso-potato" is a steamed and fried potato eaten with miso. It is a local specialty too.
2018,Feb.1st Chichibu,Saitama

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