Tag Archives: Wakamiya Oji

Oshogatsu 2: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

On January 3rd, we went to Kamakura to visit some shrines and a temple.  First stop was Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (鶴岡八幡宮).  We had planned to get an omikuji (fortune) and a charm for the baby, but things didn’t go as planned.

On our way to the shrine, it was obvious that there were a lot of people that had the same idea as us.  We walked down the shopping street a bit, then decided to walk along Wakamiya Oji until we got to the shrine.

The main shopping street in Kamakura was very crowded.

At Wakamiya Oji, plenty of people posed for pictures next to one of the dog statues.

Wakamiya Oji was decorated with lanterns to celebrate the new year.

A close up of an old stone lantern.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu's San no Torii stands big as always.

The stone bridge that only the shogun was allowed to cross.

Looking pretty crowded, and there are plenty of yatai (food stands). It's like a festival.

Lots of yatai. My wife is in this picture, right of centre.

I waited in line for about 3 minutes. This is how many people were in front of us. Incredible!

At this point, we decided it would take far too long to wait.  There were several thousand people at the shrine, and it would probably take a couple hours or so of standing.  We had other places to go.  So, we decided to leave, and I got a couple of interesting pictures.

Lots of masks with famous characters, including Kitty, Pikachu and Power Rangers. There were many guards and police officers at the shrine.

There were guards dressed in red uniforms anywhere. Very bright. He wasn't posing for me in this picture.

I was surprised about how many guards in red there were.  But there were other guards wearing a standard dark blue uniform, as well.  We took a little break to have something to eat near one of the exits.  Unfortunately, my wife had an incident when I was in the restroom.  A little girl pushed her from behind, and when she turned to see who did that, the little girl’s parents were laughing at what she did.  My wife got angry at them, but that made them laugh even more.  Unbelievably rude!  They thought it was funny that their girl pushed a pregnant woman.  That soured the mood a bit.  Anyway, we decided to move on to our next destination, which I will show in part 3.  But first, a parting shot.

We left the shrine through this torii.


Filed under Festivals & Events, Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Shrines

2012 Picture of the Week (1/52) – Wakamiya Oji

Welcome back to the Picture of the Week!  I’m going to try get a full 52 pictures done with my iPhone this year and post them weekly.  These will be completely unedited, unfiltered photos.  Some will also be available on Instagram in filtered form.

This week, we went to Kamakura and visited 3 shrines and a temple. This picture was taken on Wakamiya Oji, going toward Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.


Filed under Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Picture of the Week, Shrines

Exploring Japan: Spring at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu – March 26, 2010

It was early spring, the cherry trees were blooming, and it was a great day to go walking through some of Kamakura’s most famous sites.  This is the first of three parts showing three famous places.  First up is Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the centre of Kamakura, and the city’s largest shrine.  I started at Wakamiya Oji again and walked up to the shrine, mostly taking pictures of cherry blossoms.  At the shrine, I got to see the aftermath of a bad storm that hit the region on March 10, just 16 days before.  Unfortunately, the famous ginkgo tree that stood next to the stairs leading to the shrine’s main building had fallen.  But all is not lost, the roots were still alive and the tree is growing again.  Enjoy the pictures.

The cherry trees are blooming on Wakamiya Oji.

Cherry blossoms and a beautiful blue sky.

More cherry blossoms along Wakamiya Oji.

A closer look to the cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms very up close.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu San no Torii, the great gate at the entrance of the shrine.

This arched bridge could only be used by the Shogun.

There are large ponds at the shrine, and this one has an island. See the heron?

Sadly, the old ginkgo tree that was here was knocked down during a storm on March 10, 2010. This tree is famous for being the hiding spot where Minamoto no Sanetomo was murdered by his nephew.

Here's a section of the tree. This picture was taken only 16 days after it fell.

Here's the remaining stump. Since this picture was taken, the tree has shown that it's still alive and growing.

For Tsurugaoka Hachimangu’s location, please check out this map:

This post is taking part in “Show Me Japan #32.”


Filed under Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Shrines

Exploring Japan: Wakamiya Oji in Kamakura – January 25, 2010

The city of Kamakura is built around Tsurugaoka Hachimangu and its 1.8 km approach, Wakamiya Oji.  Wakamiya Oji is the main street of the city that runs from the shrine down to Yuigahama Beach.  It was built in 1182 during the Kamakura Period, when Kamakura was the capital of Japan.  It was originally very sacred, with only a privileged few allowed to walk down it.  These days, it’s a very busy street.  Down this stretch of road, there are 3 gates or Torii.  Ichi no Torii (First gate) is the farthest from the shrine.  Ni no Torii (Second gate) is at the entrance of the dankazura, which runs the rest of the way to the shrine.  The dankazura is lined on both sides by cherry trees.  Finally is San no Torii (Third gate), which is at the main entrance of the shrine.  For a full history, please read the Wikipedia entry.

Ni no Torii of the dankazura

This is the Ni no Torii, the second gate on Wakamiya Oji. The second gate is the entrance to the dankazura, which is a pathway lined with cherry trees.

Looking down the dankazura

Here's a view down the dankazura, a bit closer to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. During late March and early April, these trees are covered by cherry blossoms.

Looking down the dankazura

Almost at the end of the dankazura, San no Torii (third gate) can be seen.

San no Torii at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

This is San no Torii. It's at the main entrance of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. The main building can be seen in the distance.

In this map, the shrine is at the top, at the northern end of the main road in yellow.  Wakamiya Oji continues southward all the way to the beach.  The area in this map is shown in the above photos.


Filed under Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa