last afternoon at kawaguchiko: fuji omuro sengen-jinja shrine   2 comments

Sunday, June 4:  After stashing my bag in a coin locker at the train station, I take the Green Line of the Sightseeing bus to Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine on the south shore of Lake Kawaguchi. On the bus I chat with a honeymooning couple from the States.  Distracted by this pleasant exchange, I miss the stop for the shrine. Another couple from Australia, listening in on our conversation, misses their stop as well.  At the next stop, I ask the driver about Fuji Omuro, and he waves for us to get off and go back in the opposite direction.  We’re lucky that as soon as we hop off the bus, another Sightseeing Bus pulls up heading in the opposite direction.  We all three hop on that bus and ride it back to Fuji Omuro, arriving at 12:30.

torii gate at Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine

Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine has over 1300 years of history.  It is the oldest shrine in the Mt. Fuji area. It was Fujiwara Yoshitada who dedicated the shrine, originally built on the second station of Mt. Fuji, in 699; for its eternal preservation, it was moved to its current location in 1974.

small shrine at Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja

cow sculpture

Later, as musubi no kami (deity of childbearing, easy delivery of a baby, match-making, and happy marriage), it was worshipped and courteously protected by the clans of Takeda, Oyamada, and Tokugawa.  On the spacious grounds, the main sanctuary (national important cultural property) has its backside facing Mt. Fuji, and the satomiya sanctuary (city’s important cultural property) has its backside facing Lake Kawaguchi.

Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine

characters at the shrine

temizuya (手水舎), a Shinto water ablution pavilion

dragon water spout at the temizuya

Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

I love the ema here, painted with a snow-covered Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms.

ema at Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

Wandering around the grounds, I find an exit that looks out over a small cove.

out the far side of the shrine

Lake Kawaguchiko on the far side of Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

another entrance to Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

The modern part of the shrine, probably where the monks live and worship, is colorful and beautifully manicured.

Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

cemetery at Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

cemetery at Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

bell tower at Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

Fuji Omuro Sengen-jinja Shrine

After wandering around every corner of the shrine compound, I head back to the bus stop. According to the posted timetable, I just missed the bus to the train station.  The next one isn’t for a half hour.  It’s quite warm and there is no bench, so the half-hour drags on for what seems an eternity.  While waiting, I wander around the adjacent area and capture a photo of Mt. Fuji at the end of a rural lane.

view of Mt. Fuji from the bus stop

Back at the station, I inquire about my options for returning home.  I can either take a 2-hour bus to Machida for a pretty cheap price, or I can take the reserved seat express train to Hachioji. The cost is considerably more expensive for the express train, but for some reason, I always prefer the train to a bus, maybe because a bus has to contend with possible traffic jams.  So I dish out 1,670 yen (~ $15) for the train ticket, leaving the station at 2:19 p.m.  I’m told the 1,670 yen price is on top of the regular fare to get to Hachioji, but I figure that can’t be much.  I scan the ticket and my Suica card at the same time to enter the station.  The train is lovely, as express trains always are, and the trip is hassle free.

my ticket home

When I arrive at Hachioji, I have to transfer to the Yokohama Line to get back to my stop at Fuchinobe. I do so, and at Fuchinobe I put the ticket and my Suica through the entry gate only to have a loud beep go off.  The flashing red light shows I don’t have enough fare on my Suica!  I put 3,000 yen on my Suica before I left on Saturday, so I should have nearly 2,000 yen left on it.  It can’t have cost me 2,000 yen in addition to the 1,670 I paid for that express ticket.  I believe a mistake has been made and try to get to the bottom of it with the non-English speaking ticket taker. Things are tense for a while until someone shows up who can speak a bit of English.  He tells me that yes, in fact, that express ticket was in addition to the normal 2,000 yen fare from Kawaguchi Station to Fuchinobe!  That express train really did cost me then, a total of $33.  I could have taken the bus for about a quarter of that price.  If I had understood that cost before I left, I would have certainly opted for the bus.

I’m finding that it is quite expensive to travel in Japan.  I wonder if my one week trip from August 1-8 will cost me whatever salary I’ve managed to save during my semester in Japan?

Total steps today: 16,360 (6.93 miles). 🙂

2 responses to “last afternoon at kawaguchiko: fuji omuro sengen-jinja shrine

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  1. This looks like one of the nicest shrines you have been to. I love the dragon water spout! Wouldn’t mind him in my garden 🙂

  2. Beautiful photos, Cathy. The colours are so vibrant.

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