Arashimaya (嵐山): Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社)

Breakfast at Kohikan > Arashimaya (嵐山) > Bamboo Grove > Nonomiya Shrine

Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社)
Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社)


Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社), a.k.a the Shrine in the Country (nonomiya literally means "field palace"), is a (small) Shinto shrine located in the the district of Arashimaya within the proximity of the Bamboo Grove. The shrine dates back to the 7th century and is known for its ancient style of Kuroki No Torii (black torii gate). The torii is apparently the oldest Torii gate in Japan and the only one that maintains its rough outer texture and natural coloring (usually torii gates are red).  

Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社)
Here we go

In ancient times,  unmarried imperial princesses stayed for a year or more in the belief to purify themselves after which they were sent to Ise Shrine in Mie prefecture to serve as a representative of the Imperial family. The shrine is also mentioned in the tenth chapter of the (famous) Tale of Genji, a classic work of Japanese literature from the eleventh century and the world's first novel.

Within the grounds of the shrine there is a moss garden, along with the various gods that are enshrined there: a god of good match and marriage, a god of an easy delivery and a god of learning. Needless to say, given the type of gods that are enshrined here, it is popular with the singles (especially females), couples and students alike. People write their wishes on wooden plagues and then hang them up at designated ares in the shrine.

Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社)
The corner for loooovveeeee
Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社)
The area for smooth and safe deliveries

It was purely by coincidence that we stumbled upon this shrine, and since we were already there we decided to take a quick tour.  Since we aren't really much of shrine/temple people, it took us no more than 20 minutes to explore the shrine. Within that short time span, it was interesting to see (hopeful) people earnestly writing and hanging up their wishes. Being a (small) shrine and within proximity to the Bamboo Grove, it had a serene environment despite the crowds. 

Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社)
Where wishes are hung

With our curiosity satisfied, we made continued our adventure and explored more of Arashimaya (嵐山).



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