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Marker showing the former location of Namura Shrine's torii gate. This is near the Ayato Kita (綾戸北) bus stop, the nearest to Namura Shrine from Omi-Hachiman Station. Take the bus going Mitsui Outlet Mall.
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Busy road in front of Namura Jinja Shrine.
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Namura Shrine Torii
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Path to Namura Shrine's Romon gate. Shrine's address: 滋賀県蒲生郡竜王町大字綾戸467 MAP
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Thatched-roof gate 茅葺きの楼門
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Namura Shrine's Romon Gate, Important Cultural Property 楼門
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About Namura Shrine's Romon Gate.
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The exact year when the shrine was established is unknown, but records go back as far as the year 969.
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On May 5, Children's Day, koinobori carp streamers were raised.
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Romon Gate and wash basin.
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Little shrine and little garden near the Romon Gate.
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Namura Shrine's Romon Gate, Ryuo, Shiga. Important Cultural Property.
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Thatch roof of Romon Gate.
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Namura Shrine is divided into the west and east areas. This is the west area which is larger and the main section. Haiden Hall on the left and Nishi Honden on the right behind a wall.
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Namura Jinja Shrine is noted for its Nishi Honden hall which is a National Treasure. The shrine's architecture is from the Kamakura Period. 楼門
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People pray at Namura Shrine for business prosperity, fertility, safe childbirth, and to ward off bad luck years.
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Pray here in front of the Honden Hall. Normally, you cannot enter beyond this point.
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On May 5, on the Sekku Matsuri, they opened the inner part of the shrine and so I went and got a closeup look at the Honden Hall.
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Honden Hall offerings.
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In the center is Nishi Honden hall, a National Treasure. On the left is Hachiman Shrine, an Important Cultural Property. I could finally see this building directly. Ryuo, Shiga.
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Nishi Honden hall, a National Treasure. It is dedicated to a god named Kuni-no-sazuchi-no-Mikoto (国狭槌命), the protector of grassy hills.
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About Nishi Honden hall, a National Treasure.
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About Hachiman Shrine, an Important Cultural Property.
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On the left is Nishi Honden hall, a National Treasure. On the right is Juzenji Shisha Honden shrine (十禅師神社本殿), an Important Cultural Property.
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About Juzenji Shisha Honden shrine.
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Portable shrine storehouse dating from the Muromachi Period, also an Important Cultural Property.
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About the Portable shrine storehouse.
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Affiliate shrine next to the Nishi Honden.
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Babysitter sculpture 子守りの像
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Haiden hall, reconstructed anew.
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Sacred horse statue
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Namura Shrine and Sagicho pile to be burned. Ryuo-cho, Shiga.
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Fudo-myoo Shrine, an affiliate shrine.
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Path back to the torii. Across the street beyond the torii is Namura Shrine's east section where the Higashi Honden Hall is located.
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Across the street from Namura Shrine is the Higashi Honden torii. 苗村神社東本殿
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Stone monuments marking the Namura Shrine's east section.
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Short, wooded path to the Higashi Honden shrine.
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Namura Shrine's Higashi Honden, an Important Cultural Property in Ryuo, Shiga. Dedicated to a major god called Ōkuninushi (大国主) and Susano-o (素盞嗚尊). 苗村神社東本殿
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Namura Shrine's Higashi Honden, an Important Cultural Property 苗村神社東本殿
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Higashi Honden 苗村神社東本殿
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Poster for Namura Shrine's Sekku Matsuri Festival held on May 5. May 5 is Children's Day and the festival prays for their healthy growth along with a good harvest.
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Namura Shrine's Sekku Festival's highlight is the yabusame horseback archery. There's a path in front of the Romon Gate for horses. They had two archery targets set up along the path.
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Yabusame horseback archery target.
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The festival started in the afternoon with children carrying mikoshi portable shrines.
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They carried the mikoshi around the Haiden Hall, then went around the neighborhood.
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Children bearing mikoshi in front of Romon Gate.
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Meanwhile, a bunch of horses standby in the trees.
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The yabusame (horseback archery) part of the festival finally started at around 4 pm. There were several horseback riders, but only this woman was going to shoot arrows.
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She did a few practice runs first.
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She missed the target the first two times.
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It seemed to be a provincial festival with few tourists. It wasn't so crowded and most people were local people.
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She shoots the arrow...
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This one hit the target.
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Bull's eye. Compared to other yabusame that I've seen, she rode the horse pretty slow.
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After the archer's successful run, the other riders just trotted past a few times without shooting any arrows.
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At least two riders took a spill and fell from the horse. No injuries though, and I filmed one of the riders who fell. See my video below.
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Horseback archer.
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They had seven horses.
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After the yabusame, they carried the mikoshi back.
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One mikoshi was taken to the Higashi Honden across the street.
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Two of the mikoshi are put back into the storehouse.
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This mikoshi went to Higashi Honden.
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My video of Namura Shrine's Sekku Matsuri festival
   
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