Sawara once more – Why tourism is at times a wonderful thing

Today we made a trip back to Sawara, to explore some stairs and a temple we saw the other day, but had no time to visit

(On the way there I spotted a ‘junk store’, you know one of those where they sell all sorts of things, new, old, second-hand, antiques and junk. Finally found 10 Japanese lacquer soup bowls, those with lids, that I like. Bingo for me!)

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Last time we saw these stairs and the lantern avenue to it suggested a shrine, which according to our map from the tourist office is the Suwa-Jinja Shrine. This is all I have been able to find out about the shrine, its name.
It has something mysterious walking up the stairs and wonder what is at the top. There are 2 flights of stairs, first you come to your usual Chōzuya, this one looked the worse for neglect, cordoned off with black/yellow striped tape, no water scoops and no flowing water, just a murky green ‘jelly’. The view on the other side of the stairs was just as sad. A few neglected shrines, rotting away.

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This one did somehow look pretty in its neglect.

Walking up the second flight of stairs you come across this
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All of Inari’s foxes looking rather neglected
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The main shrine building looks rather well maintained, inside and outside
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It’s somehow unusual as this one has a walled area at the back of it, something I have not seen anywhere else yet.
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The wood carvings and really beautiful, although I would love to attack them with some orange oil to bring out the colour of the wood
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On one side of the main building was a smaller one which seemed to contain a portable shrine in amazing conditions compared to everything else.

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On the other side it had this huge tree, I love it, wish I had something like it in my garden.
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Even though on closer inspection it hid this poor neglected mini shrine
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I confess I was very tempted to open the door and see what was inside, but I behaved and did not.

Then you walk on and neglect is everywhere to be seen, paths are unkept
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More neglected Chōzubachi

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Broken statues.

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Abandoned shrines

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Empty offering dishes

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Roofs falling apart

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Torii losing battle with the weather gods

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On our way out, we saw this, I tidied it up a little and put the ornaments back, a feeble attempt at fixing things a little.

Although I often wish there where less tourists (I can remember getting into the Duomo in Florence without having to battle massive queues of tourists), at times tourism is a wonderful thing as it means a shrine like this, would be given funds to be maintained.

It saddens me to see it as it is

*R*

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Joan
    Jul 08, 2012 @ 09:29:55

    Hi, Ren, love your photos, I have been away We have big trees like that one in our park, sort of fig tree I think. Kids play hide and seek in it…I think I have a photo of BF climbing it. Stay safe. Joan

    Reply

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