Trip to Spiritual Spots
Wara – Encountering Romantic Myths

Writer : TABITABI Gujo Editor Team
Posted date: 2022-02-22 Last updated: 2022-08-09

[Legend of Ame-no-iwato] Two layered huge rocks

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Next, we are going to Togakushi-jinja Shrine. It is a shrine standing among the big cedar trees with a red Torii (Gateway at the entrance to a shrine). It was written in Mino-no-kuni-jinmyocho (List of shrines of Mino) in 939 during Heian era. During Kamakura era (1185 – 1333) it was called “Kuzunomiya” and changed to “Togakushi-jinja Shrine” in 1874. We can see large words saying spiritual spot at the parking area. This shrine is famous for having many spiritual spots. We are so excited! Go through the torii and breathe in fresh air. Take a deep breath and start our journey!

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First, we go praying at the shrine. Amanodadikaraonomikoto (God of Strength) is enshrined here. According to the legend of Ama-no-iwato, he was the one who opened the cave with his bare hands. I can sense the legend is so close to us. A leaflet with all the spiritual spots is placed in front of the inner shrine. We read this leaflet while we are walking around. Before entering the shrine, Omikuji (Fortune slip), Goshuin (Seal stamp from the shrine) and Omamori (Good luck charm) are placed in front of the inner shrine. Please put money inside the offertory box. We receive our Goshuin and pick an Omikuji. It is Daikiji meaning best luck! It says paths will be opened for us. Is it one of the good lucks after we visit all the spiritual spots?

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Layered rocks, our goal to this shrine, is located on the right after entering the shrine. As its name, one huge rock is on another huge rock which weight 40tons each. The point of contact is so small that you can move the upper rock with one hand. Actually, the angle of the upper one moves every year. Although the point of contact is so small, earthquakes, typhoons or other natural disasters are not able to make it drop * The rocks are under protection that touching is prohibited.

◆Legend 3 : Legend of layered rocks in the oldest history book, Kojiki

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One of the most famous legend in Kojiki is “Ama-no-iwato”. Amaterasuohakami (Goddess of all gods) shut herself inside a rock house and Amanodadikaraonomikoto opened it up with his empty hands. Some of the rocks flied and dropped onto the ground here at Wara-cho. Those rocks made the layered rocks. The name of Tokakushi-jinja Shrine is related to this legend too. Another legend about Ame-no-iwato is that, in order to invite the god of the Sun under the dark world, other gods used chickens with long clucking. This chicken become the oldest local chicken in Gujo.

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There are many other huge rocks within the area of the shrine, other than the layered rocks. They have names written. Use your imagination and see carefully. You can get pregnant by walking through the big cedar trees, name the couple cedar trees, near the torii. Another cedar tree outside the torii is another spiritual spot. With height 33m, diameter of 6m and age 1000 years old, this tree stands still all the time even lightning, wind and snow cannot break it. This tree is lit up at night during year end and new year every year. You may come and see it. The second Sunday in every October, there is a festival, one of the Intangible Folk Culture Properties in Gujo-shi. Daikagura and Isekagura (Both dances for exorcism) are performed and Dashi and Mikoshi (Both portable shrines) can be seen during Matsuri (Japanese festival). You would love to see all these!

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TABITABI Gujo editorial

TABITABI Gujo is a general media site for sightseeing in Gujo introducing attractive tourist spots in Gujo with a slogan of “Gujo, a place you want to visit many many times.” While knowing more about Gujo, we continue providing information on travel suggestions during each season in different areas, as well as the latest information of Gujo-shi.

Photographs by TABITABI Gujo Editor Team

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