Thursday, December 16, 2010

Osaki Hachimangu Shrine

On our way to Akiu Otaki, we drove around in Sendai . Sendai is one of the bigger cities in the Northern Honshu island and also in Tohoku region. I had read about the Osaki Hachimangu shrine and we decided to pay a visit when we found out that it was on our way to the Akiu Otaki.

The Osaki Hachimangu shrine is a Shinto shrine in Sendai city. The shrine deities are Emperor Ojin, Emperor Chuai and Empress Jingu. The deity is considered the guardian deity of Sendai.

The main shrine building, known as “Shaden” has been designated a National Treasure”.

The current structure was built in the 17th century as per the orders of Date Masamune, a powerful samurai. 

The shrine’s Matsutaki Matsuri which is held annually on January 14th is considered to be one of Japan’s leading festivals. It draws crowds from various parts of the country. This Matsuri has a 300 year history . The uniqueness of this festival is the giant bonfire called “Goshinka” which is lit as a farewell for the gods who visit people’s home during the new year. It is believed that dancing close to the fire purifies the mind and body and bestows good health. I am told that many believers dance around the fire , semiclad in clothes and braving the chilly winter night.

Address: 6-1, Hachiman-4-chome, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi pref- 980-0871

Phone: 022-234-3606

Access: 15 mins from JR Sendai station by car and
              15 mins from Sendai Miyagi IC ( Tohoku Expressway) by car

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