Yakumo Shrine in Kamakura was established in 1083, during the Heian period. Said to ward off bad luck, the shrine is believed to the oldest talismanic shrine in Kamakura. There are a few other shrines in the area also named Yakumo but the one here is found in the Omachi area.
Sometime between 1081 and 1083, when Shinrasaburo Yoshimitsu stopped by in Kamakura on his way to the old Oshu Province (now the Tohoku region), an epidemic was underway in the area. Wanting to help the people who were suffering during the epidemic, Yoshimitsu began praying for the deity of Gion Shrine in Kyoto to cure the people of the Kamakura area. It is said that this is the origin of Yakumo Shrine.
Later on, Shinrasaburo Yoshimitsu changed his name to Minamotono Yoshimitsu. After the epidemic was brought under control, Yakumo Shrine became known as a divine shrine that drove away ill luck. Nowadays, a lot of people visit the shrine to worship and offer their prayers.
Within the grounds, there are a number of rather large stones thought to have been Yoshimitsu's and are known as the Shinrasaburo stones. It's hard to imagine that anyone held them since look quite heavy. Nonetheless, you can feel the history when you are at the shrine. There is even a small Inari shrine on the left-hand side where you can see two foxes made out of stone. They are pretty cute.
There is the office on the right-hand side of the shrine where you can collect a red Goshuin stamp. Collecting shrine stamps is a popular activity and you can also pick up some more stamps at the nearby Hiruko Shrine as well as from Amanawa Shinmeigu Shrine in Hase.
Heading to the shrine from Kamakura Station, you will also come across Hongaku Temple and Myoho Temple. Part of the Shichifukujin local temple and shrine pilgrimage during the New Year, they are very popular places to visit.
The shrine is about a 10-minute walk from JR Kamakura Station.
Find out more about Yakumo Shrine.
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