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Words-and-Pictures: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

(as seen on September 8th, 2001, on the Old Tokaido stage of the Aki Meguri)

Note: This Shinto shrine is in Kamakura, in Kanagawa Prefecture.  Kamakura is a sidetrip off of the Old Tokaido between Kanagawa (now Yokohama) and Hodogaya, Stations 3 and 4 (from Tokyo.)  You can read about my visit to Hachimangu in my Logbook.  You may also choose to start reading about my Tokaido journey at the beginning, or start at the top of my Aki Meguri pages.

The approach to the shrine.  That's my friend Tom scratching his back in the left foreground.
The stage for sacred dance. I once saw grandmother-aged women in ancient costumes dancing with swords here.  Wouldn't want to fight one of them for a seat on the train.

I wasn't surprised to see people practicing archery here.  Shrines are great places for the promotion of all kinds of traditional arts. I was surprised, though, to see that the archers were standing inside one of the halls of worship--this one dedicated to Emma-O, the King of Hell--and shooting out towards targets. 
All the modern conveniences.  In the past, you would pay a small fee to draw a paper out of a jar, or a stick out of a box.  This led to receiving your fortune.  Now, just pop your coin into the machine and voila!  Instant destiny.

A Place for Weddings

Like all large shrines, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is almost always hosting a wedding--or two, or three.
This bride is being walked back toward the front of the shrine.

I snuck in on the "formal" shot in the jinrikusha.  The new couple will be paraded around Kamakura.
Uninvited guests.

Who's next?  (Tom and Yuka, with whom I was staying.)
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