Friday, September 4, 2009

The Atago Shrine

Name : The Atago Shrine

Location : It is located in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.

Description : It is a Shinto shrine built in 1603 (the eighth year of the Keichō era) on the order of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The current shrine was rebuilt in 1958.

The shrine is located on Atago Hill, which is 26 meters above sea level. In old times, the shrine had an excellent view of Tokyo, now obscured by high rises. The very steep stairs leading to the shrine are also famous, as they represent success in life.

Legend : According to legend, a young samurai dared to ride his horse up the stairs to deliver plum blossoms to the shogun. It took his horse only one minute to get up, but 45 minutes to get down, and the horse was totally exhausted afterwards.

The shrine was erected to protect the residents from fire, since its formerly excellent view was well suited to watch for fires, and therefore the main Shinto god worshiped in this shrine is the fire god Homusubi no Mikoto. Other gods worshipped are also Mizuhanome no Mikoto (a god of water), Ōyamazumi no Mikoto (a god of mountains) and Yamato Takeru no Mikoto (a god of military).

The shrine is dedicated to the "God of Wishes" and is widely visited by people wanting a profitable future.

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