⛩ Japanese Shrine Appreciation Thread ⛩

Intriguing. Wonder if it’s worth visiting for one of these. Wondering how crowded it’d be.

What month is the Kikkasai?

2 Likes

How busy it would be depends on the season really. Winter is typically the least busy time to travel, particularly February. Early January is a no-go because nearly every Japanese person in the area is going to their first shrine visit of the year, and Itsukushima Shrine is the most popular in the area.

Spring is a popular time to travel (for cherry blossom viewing) especially late March/early April because the kiddos are on spring break. Golden Week during late April/early May… well, forget about going anywhere to be honest, lol. If you like to line up early for things as much as Japanese people, then you should get there at least an hour early to see anything happen.

Summer time is popular for obvious reasons, particularly Obon season in August. Also, any national holidays in Japan, but there’s fewer in fall. That’s probably the best season because you can enjoy the fall colors! The only good thing about winter is fresh oysters (which you won’t find at Miyajima anyway - pick them up at the local supermarket instead) and the rare case that it snows, but as soon as it falls, it melts. There might be some snow at the top of Mt. Misen (the mountain on Miyajima) now, but the paths are natural and narrow, it would be dangerous to climb if you’re not experienced.

But that’s just my 2 cents living nearby. :slight_smile:

Also, Kikka-sai is in October. There’s also many more festivals (including ritual dances) that aren’t listed in the pamphlet. Some are unscheduled just so only the locals can enjoy them. Miyajima is the biggest tourist attraction in the city, so it’s natural they’ll have festivals nearly every month. They built a website in English in anticipation for the Olympics but haven’t updated it because of the pandemic. You can find it here.

4 Likes

Thank you for so much detailed additional information!

2 Likes

I want to share one of the coolest shrines I’ve ever visited.

岩国白蛇神社 Shirohebi Shrine (Iwakuni)

As you might have realized from the name, this place enshrines white snakes. The most unique thing about it is that the snakes are actually at the shrine (still?). They have been breed for generations upon generations. Some are kept outside in a large, natural enclosure.

And others inside in a humid room to encourage mating.

The snakes are very well cared for and the priests save the sheds of the skins and use them in various art pieces.



Produced in snake shed and reproduced in the phamplet for the shrine in embossed form.

Bell charm from Shirohebi Shrine

14 Likes

The one I saw when I went was very interesting. I recommend going if you can. It was January 3 when I went, and it was pretty crowded. If you go around New Year be prepared for big crowds.

4 Likes

These are tremendous–thank you so much for posting these! They are lovely to see, and it’s great to get the various historical details!

2 Likes

Commenting to remind myself to share shrine from that middle middle place

2 Likes

How about that shrine from the 中中 place?

3 Likes

Thank you, my memory is shit lol

Here we have Oouo Shrine in Saga!

It’s pretty small, but it has great visual impact. It’s mainly a set of three :shinto_shrine: on a lake. The final one actually has a basin so that it’s always floating.

If you’re in the area, I recommend a short detour :slight_smile:


Some tiny friends in the area


And a photo shamelessly lifted from Google

5 Likes