Friday, March 20, 2009
This is the start of the path that goes up to the top of Isari Mountain, near Yasaka, south of Hamada.
We were told there was a shrine on top of the mountain that local women used to pray for safe childbirth. When we started we didn't realize just how high it was, 714 metres, and it had some great views over the Chugoku Mountains.
The Chugoku mountaisn are not particularly high, but they are pretty steep, and its a fairly remote region.
The shrine itself was a tin shack that had been built around an older hokora (wayside shrine). No-one knows when or why the shrine was established.
It's an Asama Shrine, commonly known as the goddess of volcanoes. The kamis name is Konohanasakuyahime, and she was the wife of Ninigi who was sent by Amaterasu to subdue and rule over Japan. The head shrine is Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha located at the base of Mt Fuji. She is one of several kami that are known for protection of safe births.