Okusha of Togakushi Jinja, one of the most popular power spots in central Japan (YUKI_2002)

Overview

In Japanese mythology, due to her brother’s disorderly behavior, the Great Sun Goddess Amaterasu hid in the Heavenly Rock House, and the world became pitch black and chaotic. Therefore, the troubled gods held a meeting and a festival of songs and dances to take her out again. Wondering about the bustle, she opened the door slightly, and a god, Ameno Tachikara Ono Mikoto, pushed the rock to welcome her.

There is a legend that the rock fell into the lower world and became Mt. Togakushi. Togakushi literally means “hiding the door”. The Okusha shrine or inner sanctuary of Togakushi Jinja is widely known as a symbol of the cedar avenue. The entire Okusha Forest area has also been protected from development and destruction for nearly 400 years, and the felling of trees in the precincts was strictly prohibited.

In 1973, it was designated as a natural monument of Nagano Prefecture as “preserved as it was in old times”. As a condition of preservation, it’s asked not to enter the ground surface in the forest. This vast shrine is the property of all worshippers and must be protected as the property of the earth. For me, who used to introduce myself as an atheist, this shrine is such a sacred place that I was first convinced that there is a god.

Cedar Avenue

The avenue of more than 200 giant cedar trees that stretch for about 500 meters from the Zuinshinmon gate is hand-made and boasts a history of more than 420 years.

Zuishinmon Gate

As soon as you get off the bus from Nagano Station, you can find the wooden torii gate. The approach to Okusha is about 2 km, and in the middle is the red thatched Zuishinmon gate.

Okusha

The shrine is dedicated to Ameno Tachikara Ono Mikoto. Divine virtues such as good luck, wish fulfillment and must-win sports are spread throughout the country.

Kuzuryusha

Kuzuryu no Okami was dedicated as a landowner god before Ameno Tachikara Ono Mikoto was enshrined. He has gathered special faith in the divine virtue of fulfilling his wishes, and since ancient times he has been revered as the god of water, the god of begging for rain, the god of tooth decay, and the god of marriage.

Kagami Ike

Kagami Ike, literally “Mirror Pond”, is one of the best scenic spots in Togakushi, where fresh greenery and autumn leaves in addition to the majestic Togakushi mountains are reflected on the surface of the water like a mirror. There are many tourist attractions around the pond, and you can walk as a trekking course.

Soba no Mi

The history of soba noodles in Togakushi began when buckwheat flour was prized as a portable food for mountain ascetics, and it boasts a nationwide place name. Long lines are usually inevitable at some famous soba restaurants, and I enjoyed lunch at one of them called Soba no Mi.

Basic information

AccessScheduled bus, about 1 hour from JR Nagano Station
Shrine OfficeOpen 9:00 am
Close 5:00 pm
Entrance FeeFree

Relating Tours

If you have any feedback, please fill in the following form. Your message will be sent to the author of this article. Thank you for reading!!


    Related Posts

    1. Entsuin Temple (YUKI_0402)

    2. Lake Kawaguchi at the foot of Mt. Fuji (YUKI_1902)

    3. Zuiganji Temple (YUKI_0401)

    4. Arakurayama Sengen Park, one of the most photogenic spots (YUKI_1901)

    5. Shiogama Shrine (YUKI_0404)

    6. Yonezawa famous for Wagyu Beef & JFK (YUKI_0602)