Katte Shrine located in Yoshinoyama, Yoshino-cho, Nara Pref. is one of the eight Myojin shrines in Yoshino. It enshrines Oyama Tsumi no Kami and Konohanasakuya-hime no Mikoto. Legend has it that in 672, when Prince Oama (later enthroned as Emperor Tenmu), who had stayed in Yoshino and gathered an army to battle with the crown prince, was playing the Japanese harp in front of the hall at this temple, a heavenly maiden appeared and showed him a lucky omen.
It is also said that in 1185, when Shizuka Gozen, who parted with Minamoto no Yoshitsune in Mt. Yoshino, was caught by the pursuers, she performed elegant dance in front of the hall at this shrine to make time for her husband to escape.
The main hall was once destroyed by fire and restored in 1776, but in 2005 it was burned down again by the fire of suspicious origin. Presently, only a part of wooden structure remains and there is little possibility of the restoration of this important cultural property.
Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine located in Miya-cho, Fujinomiya City, Shizuoka Pref. is an old shrine that had been worshipped by generations of warriors. The enshrined deity is Konohana no Sakuyahime no Mikoto. This is the head shrine of all the 1300 Sengen shrines in Japan and the center of Mt. Fuji worship. Mt. Fuji itself is considerd as the sacred body of god and the back shrine is located at the top of Mt. Fuji. The origin of the shrine dates back to 27 B.C., when Asama no Okami, the holy spirit of Mt. Fuji was enshrined at the foot of the mountain. In the later periods, this volcanic god came to be identified with Konohana no Sakuyahime, a princess in ancient myths. At the present time, her husband, Amenigishiku Ninigishi Amatsuhikoho no Ninigi no Mikoto, and her father, Oyamatsumi no Mikoto are also enshrined. The shrine possesses the land above the 8th station of Mt. Fuji.
Yamamiya Sengen Shrine located in Yamamiya, Fujinomiya City, Shizuoka Pref. is a shrine full of legends. The enshrined deities are Konohana Sakuyahime no Mikoto and Asama no Okami. According to the shrine record of Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine, it was built by transferring deities from this Yamamiya Shrine in 806. There is no historical evidence, but Yamamiya Shrine is presumed to be an outer shrine of Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine. That is, Yamamiya Shrine was the mountain shrine and Hongu Taisha Shrine was the village shrine. There is no Honden (the main hall) at Yamamiya Sengen Shrine, because it is believed that the hall would be blown down by the wind. Like ancient shrines, only the altar is located in the precinct. If you stand in front of it, you will feel some mysterious awe and sacredness.
Toyozumi Shrine located in Yui-cho, Ihara-gun, Shizuoka Pref. is a shrine with a long history since the ancient times. The enshrined deity is Konohana Sakuyahime no Mikoto. Opinion about its foundation is divided, but the information board in the precinct explains that it originally enshrined Toyoukebime, the deity of rich harvest, during the 7th century, but according to popularization of Asama worship (worship of the volcano god), the chief priest received the oracle in 791 and it began to enshrine Konohana Sakuyahime no Mikoto. In another historical record, it is written that the shrine was founded in 791. In either case, the shrine was listed on Engishiki (codes and procedures on national rites and prayers) in the Heian period (794-1192) as a shrine to worship Asama no Okami and was also called Toyozumi no Asama no Daimyojin. Otaiko Matsuri Festival held for three days from the New Year’s Day, originates in the old episode that Sakanoue Tamuramaro dropped in at this shrine on his way back from the conquering battles with the Emishi and had a feast to thank the god for his victory.
Sakurami Shrine is located to the south of the upstream of the Sakura River in Uda City, Nara Pref. It was called “Tenno-gu” in the ancient times. It is said to have been originated in one of the Himorogi (a tentative shrine) placed at the four corners of the camp when Emperor Jinmu went on an expedition to the east and pitched a camp in Takagi in Uda area. The deity enshrined here is Princess Konohana Sakuya. Later in the Edo period, Yasaka Shrine, Atago Shrine and Benzaiten Shrine in Udano were enshrined together as the Keidaisha (shrines existing in the precinct of the main shrine). There is a 2000-year-old huge cedar tree called “Yatsufusa Sugi,” which is said to have been planted by Emperor Jinmu. The trunk circumference of the tree is 9 m. The dignified -looking eight trunks growing out of one stock and intertangling one another present a wonderful sight. It was designated as a National Natural Treasure in 1932.
Since ancient times, the Japanese cherry (sakura) tree has been deeply connected to the spirit and lifestyle of the Japanese people as the spiritual tree of Konohanasakuyahimenomikoto.
The cherry blossom is the representative flower of Japan and, generally said, the word 'flower' for the Japanese means cherry blossom. Sakura is also the official flower of the state of Japan.
For many reasons, too, the sakura tree is important for practical purposes. For example, an early-Jomon period bow excavated from the Torihama Shell Mound Site in Fukui Prefecture contains parts reinforced with sakura bark. In addition, people knew when to sow the fields and time the crops by following the sakura's blossoming.
Yet the sakura is more of an ornamental tree, and 'hanami' ('cherry-blossom viewing') is an annual spring event nationwide. Additionally, the beautiful and transient characteristic of the tree to blossom before foliating in a short space of time, before falling gracefully, has been the subject of countless poems. Furthermore, sakura is often the subject of conversations with a distinctively Japanese aesthetic.