Head of all the Shinto shrines in Japan, Ōyamazumi Shrine is to be found close to the Shimanami Expressway on the “Island of the deity Ōmishima”, Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture.
Home to deities of the sea, of the mountains, and of war, Ōyamazumi Shrine was revered by warlords and courts of old.
In Japan, Nihon Sochinju refers to the entire Ujigami (guardian deity of the Shinto faith).
A tiny island floats on the Seto Inland Sea… In the shade of a huge 2600-year-old camphor tree, a deity that protects the whole country is enshrined.
As the grounds are often crowded, the atmosphere feels more sacred when visited in the early morning.
Every year, on May 5th (lunar calendar), a rice planting festival is held, while on September 9th (lunar calendar) the autumn rice harvesting festival is held.
Interestingly, and very unusual nationally, an event called Hitori Sumō is held here. One person sumo-wrestles with the rice plant spirit!
On the day of the autumn equinox, the most mystic scenes take place at Ōyamazumi Shrine.
Since ancient times it has been said that on this day the sky and the earth are connected.
When the sun rises behind the main shrine, the center of the shrine and the camphor tree are connected with a path of light… perfect for a golden dragon to pass along.
Address: 3327 Miraura, Ōmishima-chō, Imabari-shi, Ehime
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Maki Ohashi
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