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Shiigawaki Shrine Near Hamamatsu

Enjoy an atmospheric forest shrine in the countryside

If you're on your way to the Akino Fuku Art Museum in the countryside north of Hamamatsu, it's worth taking a little time to stop off at Shiigawaki shrine. Not far from Nishi-Kajima station, the terminal of the Enshu train line, this is a peaceful shinto shrine surrounded by forest, typical of the country's tradition of taking a spiritual view of nature.

First you climb some steep steps away from the road, maybe looking back at the top to enjoy a view of the nearby river, then you follow a path through the woods to reach the shrine grounds. You really are surrounded by nature here: the only sounds are the wind in the tall trees, the birdsong and insects, the distant rattle of an occasional train chugging across the bridge. I saw a tiny little lizard on the stone path, but apart from that, I was the only visitor, able to enjoy the tranquility, solitude and quiet.

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