Vermillion and White: Ueda City’s Ikushima Tarushima Shrine in Winter

January 24th, 2011 by
Category: Seasonal Topics, Sightseeing

With a fresh covering of snow, Ueda City’s Ikushima Tarushima Shrine’s brilliant vermillion color stands out beautifully with the contrasting white of the snow. The other day, I had an errand to run in Ueda, and on the way back I stopped to see this shrine which is noted for supposedly being the geographic center of Japan (hence its nickname: Japan’s belly button).
This shrine is also noted for being the home of Ikushima, the fertility god, and Tarushima, the god of fulfillment. Furthermore, it also supposedly houses all of the souls from throughout Japan. And as if that weren’t enough, its god is supposedly the guardian diety of the entire country. That makes it one noteworthy shrine.

Graceful Arched Bridge

Graceful Arched Bridge

For me, someone not very initiated in Shintoism, the thing that most stands out about this shrine is the destinctive vermillion color accenting the achitecture throughout the complex. And with a touch of contrasting white from the snow, it makes for even more of a photogenic setting.
Ikushima Tarushima Shrine is accessible by train from Ueda Station on the local Ueda Dentetsu line. ‘Shimonogo’ is the closest station and has rental cycles available.

This shrine is so cool it has its own website. For info in English, you can check here.

February 3rd, Ikushima Tarushima Shrine, as well at shrines and temples throughout the country, the annual Setsubun bean throwing ceremony will take place. Ceremony starts at 2pm, been throwing at 3:30pm.

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