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Utsunomiya Futaarayama Shrine

Submitted by: ColoradoJones  | Nearest Major City: Tokyo  | Category: Sightseeing


Looking at Futaarayama Shrine entrance from the Mochi Shop

Looking at Futaarayama Shrine entrance from the Mochi Shop

From the JR Utsunomiya Station to Futaarayama Shrine

From the JR Utsunomiya Station to Futaarayama Shrine

Sit on a warm bench, take in the view and... bite!

Sit on a warm bench, take in the view and... bite!

Of course... stairs up to Futaarayama Shrine

Of course... stairs up to Futaarayama Shrine

Entrance to Futaarayama Shrine

Entrance to Futaarayama Shrine

Tori, Tori, Tori

Tori, Tori, Tori

Got a little artistic here

Got a little artistic here

The main building at Futaarayama Shrine

The main building at Futaarayama Shrine

Had some business up in Utsunomiya today and happened to have a little extra time so took a side trip to "Futaarayama Shrine" (in Japanese; 二荒山神社)... BUT! not before stopping at the Mochi (sweet Japanese rice cake) shop!  Got to have Mochi while visiting a shrine!

It was an unusually warm day so I was out in shorts and a T-Shirt while most the local folk had on sweaters and mufflers.  Its a good 15-20 min. walk from Utsunomiya station to Futaarayama Shrine (I'm sure there is a bus... but just didn't want to hassle with it).  Actaully, I had no idea it even existed and was just on my way to a dreaded deed when I happened to pass by the big 'ol entrance Tori.  I thought, "Hmmm... wonder what this is..." so started to wander in when I realized it was a pretty big shrine and that in order to visit it I absolutely needed some Mochi!  Didn't take long to find a Mochi shop (as they usually are strategically located around shrines) and purchase a Mame Daifuku (sweet beans inside soft and sweet smashed rice) and... Ah! forgot the name of the second one.

So up the stairs I went and was pleasantly suprised by a very nice shrine.  It was "Shichi go san" day (when 4 year old girls, and sometimes boys, dress up in kimono's and get their picture taken) so there were quite a few cute little 4 year old girls with their parents taking pictures at the shrine.  I wondered around a bit, took some pictures then sat down on a warm bench and ate up my Mochi treats... man I love those things!

About Futaarayama Shrine:
Utsunomiya has enjoyed its prosperity around Futaarayama woods. Futaarayama Shrine was built on top a hill in the center of Utsunomiya in Futaarayama woods and has been the spiritual anchorage for the citizens in Utsunomiya. Many people visit the shrine on such occasions as New Year’s Day, Shichigosan (the ceremony for children of 3, 5 and 7 years of age), and students wishing for help of passing the entrance examination to high school.
The shrine has a long history. Founded about 1,600 years ago to dedicate the spirit of Toyokirihikonomikoto, the founder of Utsunomiya. People say the name of Utsunomiya is derived from Shimotsuke-Ichinomiya. It houses an iron guardian dog and a helmet as the treasure of the shrine that are designated as national important arts. The gate and approach to the shrine are beautifully illuminated at night.

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