Saitama tourism: Hodosan Shinto Shrine in Nagatoro
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Hodosan Shinto Shrine in Nagatoro is a great place to connect with spirituality and nature in Saitama prefecture. Thus, despite the lore of boating, whitewater rafting, and enjoying spectacular views from Mount Hodo; the spiritual angle of Hodosan Shinto Shrine is a natural completion. Indeed, the natural linkage of the Shinto shrine, the mountain walk, the adorable scenery from the top of the mountain, and the Hodosan Ropeway of Mount Hodo all fuse naturally.
Nagatoro belongs to the district of Chichibu. Thus train connections linking this town via the Chichibu Main Line with Tokyo will take roughly two hours. Of course, Chichibu itself attracts vast numbers of tourists each year because of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park. Therefore, Nagatoro is one of the countless places to explore throughout Chichibu.
The original connection between Shintoism and Mount Hodo goes back over 1,900 years ago. Hence, while the current Shinto compound is heavily reliant on more modern times concerning the nineteenth century and onward, traces of older times can be found. Thus architecture, culture, history, and spirituality all fuse with nature.
Buddhism and Shintoism naturally witnessed fusions that resulted in specific dynamics throughout Japan. Thereby, the honji suijaku theory emerged whereby Buddhas and Kami were interwoven and basically the same. In other words, the Kami were manifestations of various angles of Buddhism, including being Buddhas. Therefore, some Shinto shrines are more interwoven than others and this provides a lovely angle to the Shinto faith.
The building structure of the Hodosan Shinto Shrine is called Gongen-zukuri. Thus the prayer hall (haiden) and the main sanctuary (honden) are interconnected naturally under one roof. This delightful structure results in the shape of an H.
Overall, the lore of Nagatoro is based on the river area and the stunning mountain landscapes that can be viewed in abundance on Mount Hodo. However, the spiritual angle of the Hodosan Shinto Shrine cements your visit to this delightful part of Saitama.
Modern Tokyo Times Photo Images
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