Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The shrine of Arisa is located in a cave about 90 meters above the Takahashi River near Niimi in Okayama Prefecture. To get to the shrine you have to walk and climb through 1 kilometer of the Ikura cave.
Arisa was a local girl who lived in the village about 400 years ago. She had a boyfriend called Mosaku. Apparently all was well until one day the daughter of the local lord passed through the village. This girl/woman was so stunninbgly beautiful that even as far away as China they had heard about her great beauty.
Mosaku became smitten by this girl and left the village to go after her and try to win her hand.
He never did come back.
No longer able to stand her grief Arisa climbed up to the top of the waterfall that drops down from the cliff above the cave and threw herself off.
The villagers built the small hokora for her.
For some reason, the logic of which defies me, the shrine is now a place where young couples come to pray for good relationships.
Unfortunately the only way to reach the shrine is to pay to enter Ikra-do, but it is well worth it.