Akunami Shrine in Fujieda

Enjoy the atmosphere of a peaceful, historical shrine

 By Peter Sidell   Feb 23, 2017

If you're in Fujieda in the suburbs of Shizuoka, it's definitely worth making your way to this shinto shrine, as there are a number of interesting features, some of them historical, some not so much.

First, near the steps up to the main worship hall, I found three animal sculptures in skilfully worked metal: an elephant, a dinosaur and a dragon. (I don't know if they're always there; they may have been on display only for the childrens' festival taking place when I visited.) Other permanent residents are the old stone guardian lions, and some airborne creatures under the eaves of the miniature side shrine to the rear of the grounds.

Something that is certainly always there is the main hall. The shrine was founded in 316, subsequently burned down and rebuilt, but the main hall is still very old. There are impressive paintings on the wooden panels below the roof, showing what I take to be warlords, kabuki actors and other significant people; these are covered by clear screens to protect them from the elements, but which also make them difficult to photograph well.

Photography by Peter Sidell
Japan Travel Partner

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