Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Yuzawa Shrine (湯沢神社) @ Noboribetsu [Hokkaido, Japan]

Most people would have noticed the light red torii on the side of the road leading to Hell Valley but would prefer to spend their time at Noboribetsu's signature attraction instead, especially given the lack of time.

The same goes for me and i only got to explore the Japanese shrine, known as Yuzawa, early next morning when the weather was cool and no one seemed to be up.

Halfway up the flight of stairs was a branch off for another staircase.

Interestingly, the stone lanterns in front were bigger in comparison to the petite wooden shrine right behind. Other than that, i thought the grave for Tan Tock Seng in Singapore is more fascinating.

Sitting on a bed of rocks, the label on top indicated 三吉神社 which translates into the name of the shrine whereas the bottom characters seem to refer to a donation box. Hm........ Since i don't understand the language, i am not going to second-guess what it's supposed to be.

Time to continue our climb up the stairs and check out the main shrine we came for!

Aesthetically, i feel that the modern building on the left had somewhat blocked the facing of the main shrine. It's like hiking up to the top of a mountain only to see the beautiful view blocked by a man-made structure.

Before praying at a Shinto shrine, devotees are required to wash up but without any instruction, i was at a loss and chose to just concentrate on photo taking instead.

Stickers on the roof of the washing area; not vandalism i feel as you don't see outrageous designs / messages. Don't think they were talismans too.

Memorial plaques?

Side view of Yuzawa Shrine; said to be built by Kinzo Takimoto. Does the name ring a bell? It's the same man who established Dai-ichi Takimotokan as a small inn back in 1858!

Most Shinto shrines appear to look more like a typical wooden home, with its doors closed. Not hospitable in my opinion as i always like to see what's behind closed doors!

昭和61年 refers to the 61th year of the Showa reign under Emperor Hirohito - in the gregorian calendar that we are better comfortable with; the year refers to 1986.

I believe there's some customary ritual i am supposed to undertake before i ring the bell but since i am not aware of any and there's no one around, i shook the rope for fun!

Aside from Alex, this crow was the only living creature i chanced upon.

Votive tablets with words of blessings written on them. At this point, i wasn't aware of the purpose for the pieces of paper that were knotted up. I only know what they are when i checked out the Hokkaido Shrine the next day.

The same kind of knotted papers on tree branches. To me then, i thought its purpose would be similar to the yellow strings tied to trees near the Datok Kong shrine at Kusu Island.

Alex was getting bored. According to some reviews, this shrine was extremely beautiful in winter and in autumn when the leaves of the surrounding trees turned red!

Pillars with the words "may peace prevail on earth" inscribed in different languages like English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish etc.

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Location
106 Noboribetsu Onsencho,
Noboribetsu 059-0551, Hokkaido
(Opposite Takimoto Inn)

Map
Check out under the label for "Yuzawa Shrine" under header "Noboribetsu (07-08 Aug)".


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