Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Walk around Atagoyama & Surroundings (Part 1) / 愛宕山とその周辺の散歩 (パート1)

As I've mentioned before, one of my biggest fans and most avid reader of my blog is my father, who often shares my posts with my mother.  My mother really enjoys the posts about the different neighborhoods I walk around and will sometimes suggest a place to check out as well.  Today's walk was at the suggestion of my mother.  She had watched a television program on NHK that featured Atagoyama and the shrine that is built on top of it.  It was such a beautiful day this afternoon I decided I would check it out today.  Atago is located in Minato Ward near the Tokyo Tower.  I went to Atago by way of Toranomon on the Ginza subway line.


Entrance path to Atago Shrine / 愛宕神社参道

This statue was built behind an apartment near Atago Shrine. I tried reading the sign explaining it's significance but it was too difficult for me to read. 


Road leading to Atago Shrine / 愛宕神社参道

The road continues / 参道が続く

Reaching the top of Atagoyama where the shrine is located / 愛宕山の山頂で愛宕神社に到着

As I reached the top of the mountain, I noticed that I had come from the backside to the shrine.  Most people climb up a set of stairs called the Shusse no Ishidan which is said to be bring you success if you walk up it.  There is legend that explains why which I will relate a little later.


The Shusse no Ishidan, a symbol for success in life / 出世の石段

Yes, I walked down the steps and then back up again as it didn't seem right to walk up the road from the back.


This sign gives a brief history of the shrine.  Established in the year 1603 by Ieyasu Tokugawa, Japan's first Shogun.  The last paragraph explains the legend of the steps.  Since the print looks rather small and difficult to read I will rewrite here : 

On the front side of Atago Jinja (OTOKOZAKA) the steps are long and steep.  They are famous for success in life and for the legend of the junior samurai MAGAKI HEIKURO who dared to ride his horse up the steps and succeeded in delivering a plum gift to his lord.  The Shogun praised him as a great rider in Japan.  Everybody knows these steps are a symbol for success in life.  They are called Shusse no Ishidan.

Atago Jinja (Shrine) / 愛宕神社

Maneki Ishi (If you rub this rock, it will bring you good luck)

招き石 “こお石をなでて福を身につけて下さい”がサインに書かれてました

Shrine to Benzaiten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Fortune / 弁財天

Torii in a pond / 池にある鳥居

Lots of  large koi in that pond / 池に鯉がいっぱい

More shrines

I suppose I was a little late to see the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom / 残念ながら桜がもう散るところです

The legend of the Shusse no Ishidan, since I came here on my own I couldn't become the samurai (and it started raining as well).


The man says to continue my walk.


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