A shrine built to placate an angry mountain god
Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha is a grand shrine located close to Mt. Omuro. Its origins can be traced back to the time of the nation’s 11th emperor, Suinin. It was during his reign that the god Asama-no-okami was enshrined at the foot of Mt. Fuji. The purpose of this shrine was to seek spiritual protection from volcanic eruptions, which were frequent enough to make people believe that Mt. Fuji, considered the embodiment of a god, was angry with them.
The shrine has a rich history that spans centuries and has been closely associated with the Tokugawa clan. Over the years, earthquakes have devastated much of the shrine, but the structures that remain were built in the 1600s by shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The Tokugawa clan continued to patronize Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha for several generations, and it has been a symbol of the region for over 11 centuries. In fact, it is the head shrine of more than 1,300 Sengen shrines in japan.
Mt. Fuji has been the focus of worship for centuries, and that reverence remains strong. Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha once served as a departure point for people making the pilgrimage up the sacred mountain. It holds a special place in the hearts of the locals and attracts visitors from all over the world.
One of the highlights of the shrine is the frequent local festivals. With over 159 festivals held each year, the chances of encountering one during your visit are high. These festivals are a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of the region and offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local traditions. Some of the popular festivals include Setsubun in February, a yabusame mounted horseback archery festival in early May, a ceremony to open the climbing season in July, and a massive three-day celebration in November. These festivals showcase the finest finery, vibrant floats, melodious music, and energetic dancing.
The shrine itself is a sight to behold. It is known for its one-of-a-kind construction of the inner shrine and its beautiful gardens. The Kagami Pond, also known as the mirror pond, is particularly enchanting. It reflects the serene beauty of the surroundings, creating a picturesque landscape that is perfect for contemplation and introspection.
Getting to Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha is relatively easy. The shrine is accessible by train or bus. If you prefer to take the train, you can walk to the shrine in about 15 minutes from Fujinomiya Station on the JR Minobu Line. Alternatively, Miya buses run between Fujinomiya Station and the shrine once every one to two hours, providing a convenient transportation option for visitors.
Visiting Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha is not just a religious pilgrimage, but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of the region. The shrine’s grandeur, combined with its historical significance, makes it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the beauty of Japan.
As you explore the shrine and its surroundings, you will be transported to a different time and place. The tranquility and serenity of the shrine offer a respite from the bustling city life, allowing you to connect with nature and find inner peace. Whether you are a religious pilgrim, a history enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha will leave a lasting impression on you.
In conclusion, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha is more than just a shrine. It is a testament to the resilience of the Japanese people in the face of natural disasters and a symbol of their deep spiritual connection with the land. The shrine’s rich history, grand architecture, and vibrant festivals make it a captivating destination for travelers seeking to explore the cultural and religious heritage of Japan. So, if you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Mt. Fuji, make sure to pay a visit to Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha and experience the awe-inspiring beauty and tranquility of this sacred place.
Address And Maps Location:
1-1 Miya-cho, Fujinomiya-shi, Shizuoka-ken