I recently made a visit to Suwa Shrine. It is in the Tsurugaoka area, north of Miyama .
I was greeted on the right by a big cedar tree by the gate as I passed through the gate. On the left is a small pond with many carp. I purified my hands and mouth with the water and then headed towards the main shrine.
Two big cedar trees stretch straight up towards the sky in front of the main hall.
There is a small worship hall at the side of the main hall, and there is an unusual walkway around the whole shrine.There are beautiful wooden sculptures in both halls.
I met someone who was cleaning the precincts during the worship.
Her name is Mrs. Furusawa who lives locally. She has been coming to this shrine to pray for over 20 (?) years and, since the Shinto priest is now too old, she also spends one hour a day cleaning the precincts.
According to Mrs. Furusawa, the shrine protects this place from damage by beasts such as wild boar or dear.
Her way of praying is a bit different.After praying normally she walks around the circumference of the main hall for three laps.She said this was the way of praying here in the past.
she also explained that this is a great and holy shrine and so she could not ask, or hope for privacy, but as there is a lot of bad news in the world now, she hopes that if she comes to pray every day it may do some good. She is also glad that many people visit from different places and she think that It is good to keep the custom of reconfirming the existence of God by worshiping for the future.
I was so glad to hear her stories and appreciate her cleaning the precincts every day. Because of it, I had the feeling of beautiful, clean energy when I arrived. Thank you.
Address:2 Miyanokoshi Tsurugaoka Miyama-cho Nantan-city Kyoto , 601-0762
Phone number: 0771-76-0161
Access: 10 minutes from Thurugaoka bus station