Tsurugaoka Hacimangu

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

Kamakura city has developed through Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

Ancient Kamakura has many historic sightseeing spots, but the most famous spot, along with the Great Buddha of Kamakura, is ”Tsurugaoka Hachimangu”.
Since it was relocated on the present site in 1180, Tsurugaoka Hacimangu has been worshipped deeply as a guardian shrine of Samurai served by the Kamakura Shogunate.
The city of Kamakura was originally built based on city planning that centered on this shrine.

Get good fortune for business, pregnancy and romance.The most famous spiritual spot in Kamakura!

“Hachimangu” means, shrines that enshrine Emperor Ojin as their main diety, who was regarded as the divinity of archery and war.
“Tsurugaoka Hachimangu” has been revered as the divine protector by Samurai families in Japan.
This shrine is believed to grant luck for career success, business prosperity and victory.
Many feudal warlords had visited and prayed for victory on the battlefield.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

For better luck of business and victory, now, let us pay our respects at the Main Shrine, where the divinity of war is enshrined.

Let’s first visit the Hongū (本宮: Main Shrine) at all events.
As you go straight down the approach, you’ll see the Maiden (舞殿:Lower Worship Hall) before the Main Shrine. If you are lucky, you might be able to encounter a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony taking place at the Maiden’s location!
It would be really nice to celebrate a wedding at this kind of place.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

You have to climb the 61 steps that lead up to the beautiful and bright red Main Shrine.
It’s a little bit hard to climb up, but try looking back from the top of the stairway. You’ll be able to see a beautiful panoramic view of Kamakura city.
On a clear day, you can see the horizon at Sagami Bay.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

The splendid structure “Romon (Great Gate)” is at the top of the long steps.
It is such a brilliant vivid color, isn’t it!?
Don’t forget to check the form of the kanji character “八”on the name board “八幡宮” atop of this gate. Taking a closer look at it, it is designed to resemble a pair of doves which are considered divine messengers!

Please take a look at this great gate because it has other beautiful sculptural decorations on it.

The central part of the Romon has an engraved dragon.
The central part of the Romon has an engraved dragon.
Two tigers are engraved on both sides of the dragon.
Two tigers are engraved on both sides of the dragon.

The Main Shrine is in back of this Gate.
For better luck of business, career, and victory, straighten your posture to keep spirits up and worship with the ritual shrine manner, ”Two deep bows – Two claps – One deep bow”.
After you’ve worshipped, you might feel full of energy.

This Main Shrine (Hongū ) and Secondary Shrine (若宮:Wakamiya) at the right side of the stairway were designated as important national cultural properties.
Let me introduce you to the top 3 spiritual spots in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

(1)A spiritual spot that has a very strong life force, “The giant ginkgo tree”

This giant ginkgo tree has stood at the base of the stairway leading up to the Main Shrine for about 1,000 years and is approximately 30 meters in height, and 7 meters in circumference at it’s trunk.
This tree, which had always watched the long history of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, was the symbol of this shrine. However, it was torn out from the roots and greatly damaged by strong winds in 2010.
It was said that this damage would be irreparable. Many sprouts were visible, emerging from the remaining roots and are growing vigorously.
Both the tree’s stump and a section of its trunk replanted nearby have produced leaves.
Since then, it is said that it’s the spiritual spot for rebirth and as a place with a strong life force.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

(2)The spiritual spot for relationships and safe childbirth, ”Masako Stone”

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu grew larger and was moved to its current site in 1180 by Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder and first shogun of the Kamakura government.
He and his wife Masako were known as a happily-married couple. This shrine is also famous for blessing safe childbirth and harmonious marriage.
As you enter the precinct, you’ll find a pond called “Genji-ike pond (源氏池)” on the right hand side.
An islet on Genji-ike pond has “Hata-age Benzaiten Shrine (旗上弁財天社)” and behind the Benzaiten Shrine is a pair of stones called “Masako Stone (政子石)”.
This stone says that Yoritomo prayed for Masako’s easy childbirth, thus it is believed to give efficacy to those praying for pregnancy, and a smooth delivery.
There are many young women who visit here to pray for romance too.

On the opposite side of the approach, you can enjoy an excellent display of lotus blossoms in summer on the Genji-ike pond and “Heike pond (平家池)”.
The white lotus flowers on Genji-ike pond are the symbol color of the Minamoto clan bloom, and the red lotus flower is the symbol color of the Taira clan bloom. It is like a genuine paradise!

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

(3)”Tsurukame Stone”, with it’s miraculous power.

On the east side of the precinct stands “Shirahata-Jinja shrine (白幡神社)”, with a black-lacquered color contrasting the Main Shrine.
There are two stones fixed as pedestals called “Tsurukame Stones (鶴亀石)” just before Shirahata-Jinja Shrine. “Tsuru” means crane, and “Kame” means turtle.
It is said that when you wash this stone with water, the patterns of a crane and turtle will be shown.
I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems to have divine favors…

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

I felt completely calm here as if I had been blessed with spiritual power in its dignified and relaxed atmosphere.
There’s so many other sights to be seen here, so you should definitely try visiting this shrine with it’s history of over 800 years and it’s great harmony with nature!

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2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura city, Kanagawa Pref.

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Address 2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura city, Kanagawa Pref.
Hours April – September: 5am – 8:30pm (gate closes at 9pm) October – March: 6am – 8:30pm (gate closes at 9pm) January 1-3: Open 24 hours
Access 10 minutes walk from the JR/Enoden Kamakura Station
Phone 0467-22-0315
Website http://www.tsurugaoka-hachimangu.jp/