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Kanza Ooi Shrine (神座大井神社) in Shimada City!

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Finding a shrine can be sometimes confusing for a new visitor to Japan!

The other day I took the bus of the Ikumi Line/Ikumisen/伊久身線 from Shimada Station North exit bus stop.
I got down at a stop called Kanza Miya Iriguchi/神座宮入口, meaning “Entry/Entrance/Iriguchi” to Kanza Shrine/Kanza Miya”.
The problem is that Jinjya/神社 and Miya/宮 (can also be pronounced “Gu”!) both mean “shrine”!
Incidentally as the line is heavily subsidized by the City it is very cheap, but there is only one bus every hour!

To make matters a bit more complicated the whole shrine is dedicated to the River Ooi, hence the inclusion of its name, whereas the main shrine inside is only called Ooi Shrine!

A very rural but solemn atmosphere in the cool tree shades by a scorching hot day!

The hand-washing stone basin under its own roof!

A very old “monument” probably predating everything around!

The main shrine!

Venerable trees all around!

The guard lion seems a bit different!

It is different indeed!

Not only the paint but the style make it unusual!

The big stone lanterns have been apparently added not so long ago!

We can’t forget the other lion guard!

An impressive roar!

The main shrine!

Lion guards on the roof of a Shinto shrine are unusual!

The money offerings wooden box!

The rice straw garland!

The old plaque clearly states “Ooi Jinja/大井神社/Ooi River shrine”!

Always look behind a shrine and you might find smaller and far older ones!

Such small shrines are very probably more authentic as they were erected by small farming communities!

In Kyoto and large cities they would have all but disappeared, thus erasing real history!

These foxes confirm this is an “inari/稲荷” shrine to help rice crops!

Walking around the other side of the main shrine!

Here is another one!

Poor little thing!

Good-bye, kanza Ooi Shrine!

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