After walking through the bamboo grove, we came to this small shrine crowded with visitors. The temple priest was performing a ritual for a family and we were lucky to witness the ceremony.
From the colorful wooden ema plaques hang at one corner of the temple, I could read the wishes of the many devotees. Many asked for blessings for a blissful marriage and some wish to meet their destined loved ones.
From the signboard at one corner, I understand that the shrine was dedicated to the Goddess of the Sun and the Deity of Fire. It was constructed during the ancient days for imperial princesses who were unmarried and the Emperor sent them to the shrine to stay so that they underwent purification in order to be able to participate in a procession at the Ise Shrine.
Japan is a modern city of science and technology but the traditional shrines and religious customs continued to be preserved and worshipped. Such practices fill up the spiritual and psychological vacuum associated with the drastic change in lifestyle as a result of modernization. The ordinary folks appear calm and adjust pretty well in the face of any disaster or crisis.
The Bamboo Grove in Arashiyama is refreshingly beautiful with much greenery and this shrine enhanced the beauty of the greenery with her religious solemnity and calmness.
It is a lovely little shrine and a must visit when visiting the bamboo grove.
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