NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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宇太水分神社 Uda-mikumari-jinjya Uda Mikumari Shrine

Jp En

The Uda Mikumari Shrine is located in Utano-ku, Uda, in Nara Prefecture. It is an ancient shrine with a tradition stating that it was founded during the Emperor Sujin era.

Uda Mikumari Shrine is also the East Shrine of the four Daiwa Yoshinomikumari Shrines described in the 'Engishiki Jinmyocho', along with the Katsuragi Mikumari Shrine, the Tsuge Mikumari Shrine, and the Yoshino Mikumari Shrine.

The shrine is deified along the Yoshino River at three points: the Upper Shrine (Yoshino), Middle Shrine (Furuichiba) and Lower Shrine (Shimoidani). The enshrined deities at these shrines are the Amenomikumarinokami, Kuninomikumarinokami and the Hayaakitsuhikonokami, all of which are water gods.

The main shrine (Furuichiba) is made in an Ikenshakasugazukuri Hiwadabuki style, accompanied by the vermilion-painted Mikumari connection structure, making it a national treasure. Kasuga and Munakata shrines are also deified along with Furuichiba. The vermilion-painted main shrine casts light on the 500-year-old cedar tree, creating a calm and soothing atmosphere.
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吉備津神社 Kibitsu-jinja Kibitsu Shrine

Jp En

The Kibitsu Shrine is located in Kibitsu, Okayama Prefecture. It is a guardian shrine for the Bichuu area. The shrine is dedicated to Prince Kibitsuhiko, the model for the famous Japanese folk tale about Momotaro (the Peach Boy).

By the Heian period, the shrine had become known as the Sanbi Ichinomiya ('Shrine Uniting the Three States of Kibitsu') and has been deeply revered by many as a sacred site to pray for success in commerce and for longevity.

The adjoining double gables of the roof of the main building is a characteristic style of the Kibitsu area, and is known as 'Kibitsu zukuri' or 'hiyoku-iromiya zukuri'. Because of this distinctive feature, the shrine is designated as a National Treasure.

There is a 400m-long corridor connecting the main building to the sub shrine, and the view from beside the South Zuijin Gate is overwhelmingly beautiful. The gate is designated a Cultural Treasure by the Prefecture. The hydrangea, peony, and plum gardens inside the shrine precincts are popular among visitors as well. The shrine displays the colorful beauty and contrasts of all four seasons, entertaining the eyes of all who visit.
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