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Nonomiya-Jinja Shrine, Arashiyama

A temporary sanctuary for princesses

Amidst the beautiful bamboo forest in Arashiyama, Kyoto, lies a small shrine called Nonomiya-Jinja. The shrine was formerly known as a temporary sanctuary for princesses. Back in the early days, emperors often sent their unmarried daughters to serve as high priestesses at the Grand Shrine of Ise. Nonomiya–Jinja was the place where those princesses first spent one to three years of their lives to undergo purification before they were taken in a procession at Ise Shrine.

Despite being a small shrine, Nonomiya-Jinja is considered to be very popular, especially amongst women. It is believed that a visit to this temple can help single women with matchmaking processes, and also ease of child delivery for mothers-to-be. During my visit, I saw many votive tablets or ema with different shapes and colors, hanged inside the temple. It was very interesting, I’m sure you’d enjoy visiting this temple as much as I did.

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