2011/06/14

KYO: Fujinomori Jinja Shrine

Fujimomori Jinja Shrine


I love hydrangea, we call it “Ajisai”. Probably, my family was not good at bringing up plants & flowers, but only our hydrangea was strong enough to survive in our garden. Its contract of beautiful green leaves & blue flowers made me calm down. Because it is beautiful, probably I do not hate hydrangea.

By the way, I have always wanted to visit one of the temples where is famous for hydrangea. There are around fifteen places where are famous for hydrangea in Kyoto. I picked up one of them, Fujinomori Jinja Shrine. The reason was very simple, because it was the closest one from my home. The day I visited was on 14th of June, just one day before the hydrangea festival started. So, by chance, it was silent. (I personally do not like to visit spiritual places where too many people are, so it was lucky to visit on that day.) I first walked from the main gate, to the shrine building. On the way, I could see a part of hydrangea garden, but it seemed too intentional. (I mean, the garden was not beautifully fit in the ground of this shrine.)

Anyhow, I first offered prayers. The shrine is strongly related with horses, so horse races-people visit here to pray for their horse to win. So, actually, I could not devote myself to pray sincerely this time. Sometimes it happens, and as I have written in the beginning, each person has its own history and the way of thinking, so if you are interested in horses (or horse races), it would be the best place to visit. Then, I moved to two hydrangea gardens in this ground. Honestly, (again), it was not what I expected. For certain, there were multicolor hydrangeas, and probably a lot of types, but that was all. I am not sure why those did not fascinate me so much, but probably because those gardens were not fit in the shrines. With a new attitude, I stepped into the treasure house. Here, I could see so many horse stationary articles, and real armor and helmets. When I stood up in front of the armor, I had a slight chill, because it was like the real samurai was there, and again, it was alone in that treasure house. Probably, if I recommend the places to visit for viewing hydrangeas, unfortunately, it was not the best. However, I always think that when the time passes, the feelings will be changed, so in the future, I may visit this shrine again.

<Overview> Located in Rakunan (the south of Kyoto) area, this shrine has long history, from around 1,800 years ago. There are 12 gods enshrined here, and known for the god of victory (especially for horses-related). There is an event called Fujimomori Festival on 5th of May, and one of the religious events called “Kakeuma Shinji”, is the most thrilling one to see. It is exciting to see the stunts by horseback riders.

<High Spots>
When you visit here, I would like to suggest these;
- To pray for the god to make a wish for horse race.
- To enter the treasure house to see the armor and helmets, and picture scrolls which you will be able to know how the ancient festivals were held.