NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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一言主神社 Hitokoto-nushi-jinjya Hitokotonushi Shrine

Jp En

Hitokotonushi Shrine is located on Mt Katsuragi in Gose, Nara Prefecture. The real name of the shrine is Katsuragi Niimasu Hitokotonushi Shrine. The god Hitokotonushi is enshrined here.

There is a legend that when an emperor climbed Mt Katsuragi, Hitokotonushi appeared and preached to the emperor. The emperor then offered items such as weapons and clothing to the god. The local people call the god Hitokoto-san because it is believed that the god can grant their wishes.

Within the shrine precincts stands a large gingko tree called Nyu-Gingko, which is some 1200 years old. There is a legend that this gingko brings good luck to children. It is also said it can improve a woman's milk.
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枚岡神社 Hiraoka-jinjya Hiraoka Shrine

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Hiraoka Shrine is located in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Pref. The Main Hall painted in vermillion in Kasuga-zukuri style (the same basic form as Kasuga Taisha) stands facing west. According to the shrine leaflet, it dates back to 3 B.C., when Amenotane-no-Mikoto, the ancestor of Nakatomi Family and a liege of the emperor Jinmu, set up a shrine under the order of the emperor to worship Amenokoyane-no-Mikoto and Himemikami. As the shrine was built at the top of Mt. Kamitsu and the summit was flat, it came to be called “Hiraoka (a flat hill).” The historical events concerning the shrine are recorded in the literature of “Goshintoku-ki” owned by the shrine and it is now considered a precious document of Hiraoka City. The leaflet further goes that the enshrined Amenokoyanen-no-Mikoto is the divine ancestor of Nakatomi, later Fujiwara Family and also the first deity enshrined in this country. Part of the soul of the deities enshrined in the third and fourth halls were later sent to Kasuga Taisha, so the shrine crests of the both shrines are the same “Sagari-fuji (hanging wisteria). The ceremony of “Kayuura Shinji (fortunetelling by rice porridge)” is a prefectural Intangible Cultural Asset. The walking trail starting at the western foot of Mt. Ikoma is popular among hikers. On the trail is a small forest called “Kamitsudake no Mori,” where Kamitsudake Hongu (the original ancient shrine) is located. In spring the mountain is crowded with people who came to see Hiraoka Plum Orchard next to the shrine.
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祐徳稲荷神社 Yutoku-inarijinjya Yutoku Inari Shrine

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Yutoku Inari Shrine is located in Kashima City, Saga Pref. It was set up by Hizen-Kashima Province in 1687. It enshrines Ugano-Mitama-no-Ohkami (the guardian deity of fishing, trade, and manufacture), Ohmiyame-no-Ohkami, and Sarutahiko-no-Ohkami. It is one of the three large Inari Shrines along with Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto and Kasama Inari Shrine in Ibaragi Pref. The main hall is all colorfully lacquered structure in Butai-zukuri style (with vast veranda supported by hundreds of pillars). Its base color is vermilion. The magnificent structure reminds us of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. The shrine is called endearingly “Yutoku-san” by the local people and visited by a lot of worshippers all through the year. In the precinct of the shrine is Yutoku Museum, where historical materials concerning Kashima Province and treasures possessed by the shrine are displayed.
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太田神社 菖蒲 Oota-jinjya shoubu Irises at Ota Shrine

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Ota Shrine in Kita Ward, Kyoto is the sessha (a shrine for the guest deity) of famous Kamikamo Shrine. Ota Shrine is famous for the iris swamp called “Ota no Sawa”, which is fed with natural spring water from nearby hills. The irises of the swamp are designated as one of the national Protected Spieces. These elegant and pure irises that have not changed for 10,000 years are in full boom in May. The annual festivals are held on the tenth day of every April and October, where the village kagura dance is dedicated all day long. This kagura dance comes from the legend about Amenouzume no Mikoto, an enshrined deity of this shrine. In a Japanese mythology, when Grand Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Oomikami hid herself in the cave, Amenouzume performed a dance enticing Amaterasu out of the cave. In April the cherry blossoms are also in full bloom and make a fresh contrast to the greenness of shooting irises. The swamp is a good out-of-the-way place which every local resident knows.
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