All About Japan

Find Treasure at Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine

| Shrines , Kamakura
Find Treasure at Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu is a shrine located in the city of Kamakura. Established in 1063 by Yoritomo Minamoto, the first shogun (military dictator) of the Kamakura Period (1185–1333), it's one the most famous shrines in Japan, even considered an Important Cultural Property. Find out why below.

Even among the numerous Hachiman shrines, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu is a famous shrine that is one of the three great shrines of its kind in Japan. Entering the shrine grounds, there's a large and impressive stone stairway. The senior shrine at the top of the stairs has been designated as a national Important Cultural Property. Within the grounds there are various structures, but in the back of the main shrine, is the shrine repository. There, national treasures, such as a 13th century sword created by swordsmith Masatsune, are able to be viewed.

In addition, structures such as the Maruyama Inari Shrine and the large torii gates on the grounds are also Important Cultural Properties. Another reason for the many visitors to the shrine is the variety of festivals that take place throughout the year, such as the Setsubun, Shobu and Tanabata Festivals. At Hata-age Benzaiten Shrine, there's a stone popular among young people and families as a place to pray for safe childbirth and success in romance.

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu is famous for the beauty of its surrounding nature with flowers blooming throughout the four seasons. The spring cherry blossoms, azaleas and peonies, the summer lotus and the fall foliage can all be enjoyed. Wakamiya-oji Street which stretches from the train station to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu is famous for its cherry trees. It's said that the street was built in prayer for the safe childbirth by Masako Hojo, the wife of Yoritomo Minamoto. The raised pathway, Dankazura, is also flanked by cherry trees. In spring, it transforms into a tunnel of cherry blossoms.

Read full story: planetyze.com