Back in Shizuoka: Sengen Shrine

Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 | 0 comments

  I was going to post some more pics from our afternoon in Kamakura, but after browsing through them, I've decided that I just want to move on and hopefully get the rest of the events from the past few weeks posted before I fly home for Christmas. T-minus 9 days!!!
 So, on to Sengen Shrine. I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit that this was my first visit there, considering that I've been living in the Shimizu/Shizuoka area for almost 3 years now, and it's located right in downtown Shizuoka. In fact, up until this year I often walked past the gate on the main road to the shrine without giving it a second thought. Maybe just because a lot of the historical sites around Shizuoka haven't been incredibly impressive in comparison to other places in Japan, and I just figured that this place wouldn't be, either. Well, let this be a learning experience about not making assumptions.
 Sengen Shrine is said to have been founded in 901, and the shrines were later re-built under sponsorship by the first Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. The complex burned in 1804 and was again re-built, over a time-span of 50-60 years. It currently houses 26 structures designated by the national government as Important Cultural Properties.
 During New Year's Eve, Day, and for maybe a week afterwards, the shrine is crawling with people coming to pray for the new year, but the afternoon we went, it was very peaceful and rather unpopulated. Perfect by my standards, since somehow massive crowds and ancient sites don't mesh well in my mind.

           This picture isn't tilted; it's the ground. I swear!

                   Just outside the main shrine


          Not exactly the stairs I wanted to be climbing, considering my history of weak bones and general clumsiness

                   Little shrine at the top of the massive flight of stairs

        On the way back down... is calling me to get moving on my Christmas shopping, so that's it for now. Let's keep our fingers crossed that 'Christmas shopping' doesn't entail me buying 3 new pairs of shoes for myself like it did a few years ago!