Saturday, July 24, 2021

Awashima Shrine

This shrine is across the road from the Irieoka train station.  I had walked by this place many times, but this was the first time I took a look around.  It turned out to be more interesting than what it looked like from the street. It was another gloomy day, but not raining when I was visiting.

Many shrines have one big old tree.  This one did too.

Just a few steps down from the street and you are on the shrine grounds. It is so close to the street that I think drivers have to be careful.

The door was locked but I could look in. Seems like storage.

Komainu (lion-dogs) are often seen guarding the entrance to the shrine worship hall. They are thought to protect the space around the god from evil. One has an open mouth and the other a closed mouth. I usually see one with a ball. Here, the one on the right has an open mouth and a ball under its foot.

The one on the left has a closed mouth and a small lion-dog under its foot!  I don't know what that is about.

I'm glad I stopped to look around this time.


jacaranda said...

Each and every little shrine is full of character.

kiwikid said...

Interesting place, why the tree at the Shrine do you know? The tree looks well established.

Jeanie said...

I've seen lion dogs before but I never knew what they meant.

SUWA said...

This shrine is in the neighborhood of my house! The tree is “御神木(goshinboku)” in almost shrine.
One of several meanings is tree that is sacred as God depends on.
Maybe the tree has a mark ”注連縄(shimenawa looks like rope)“.
Please be careful not to touch the tree.

Queeniepatch said...

I found the following on the internet:
The male holds a ball, the female holds a puppy. The ball represents the world and the puppy represents nature or a nurturing spirit.

Personally I think the reason there is a tree in most grounds of shinto temples is that the tree was there before the shrine! Maybe the tree saved someone, offered shelter from rain, gave nuts or berries to eat and the shrine was built to show gratitude.

Vireya said...

Fascinating spot, and very interesting reading the informative comments already left.

Leonore Winterer said...

I love these old big trees. We saw some that were gigantic!