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Mitsumine, shrine of Japanese mountain wolves

Mitsumine, shrine of Japanese mountain wolves

  |   Japan, Photography   |   1 Comment

Mitsumine, shrine of Japanese mountain wolves

If you are in or near Tokyo during the period of the fall, I suggest you to take a day to visit Mitsumine shrin, in The Chichibu mountains.

Mitsumine Shrine, the sanctuary of which which is located high up in the densely forested ridges west of Chichibu, deeply in the mountains, is different in atmosphere from usual shrines. Mitsumine Shrine in Oku-Chichibu is located on top of Mt. Mitsumine, which is 1,102 meters above sea level. Visitors will be overwhelmed by this space, filled with serenity altogether different from the hustle and bustle of urban areas.



The primary deities worshipped here are Izanagi and Izanami, two gods with primary roles in the Japanese creation myth. It is also one of the few shrines in Japan where wolves were enshrined as the local deity. This is clear from the entrance, where the usual guardian foxes or dogs have been replaced by wolf statues.



This shrine is dedicated to Japanese mountain wolves, among a variety of other gods. In ancient times, these wolves were considered holy. Their spirits would protect people’s houses against fire and burglars. Mitsumine Shrine was hugely popular among the people in Edo. Praying to the wolf gods would provide some mental relief from the constant worries of fire and theft.



The atmosphere is wonderful. There are Huge cedar trees that line the approach along with four sacred trees that form a “power spot” in front of the shrine in which visitors are encouraged to take life force from the trees by touching them and praying.


Take the Seibu Line Red Arrow Express from Ikebukuro Station to Seibu Chichibu Station. From there, take the direct bus to the shrine.




Mitsumine shrine of japanese wolf series of photography

Mitsumine shrine of japanese wolf series of photography

  • AlicevstheWorld | Nov 23, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    What an amazing place, I’d love to visit when I return to Japan!

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