Located in Gunma prefecture, in the city of Ota, there is a beautiful shrine whose enclosures take the breath away of visitors who go to pray. Its name is “Kanmuri Inari Jinja”, and it is one of the shrines that make up the network of places that have the god Inari as the main deity.
This shrine also venerates the 7 gods of fortune in the Shinto religion, these are, the god Ebisu, the goddess Benzaiten, the god Daikokuten, the god fukurokuju, the god Hotei, the god Bishamonten and the god Jurōjin.
The city of Ota has designated the main sanctuary and the main hall as historical and cultural places. The Kanmuri Inari Shrine was founded 800 years ago. The front sanctuary and the main hall were built about 300 years ago. They are dedicated to Ukanomitama-no-mikoto, the deity of the harvest. He is also a deity of business.
Historically in Japan, having a good harvest leads to wealth. The Kanmuri Inari shrine is also well known for the marriages performed there.
The front door of a Shinto shrine is called “Torii.”
The Torii gate of this shrine is 12.5 m high and 18 m wide and is said to be one of the largest in the prefecture. This torii gate is called “Kinoe” indicates the north of the east, and also means “the first”, and is the east gate of the rising sun.
In particular, during the cherry blossom period, at 9:00 p.m., the door and the surroundings are lit up and illuminated with many flowers to the delight of the visitor. The enclosure has 10 beautiful buildings dedicated to various gods. It is a spacious and peaceful sanctuary.
There are many small sculptures of the Inari foxes around the entire compound. Foxes are the messengers of the god Inari in the terrestrial world. Here you can also find a special bell to break all the bad luck of the visitor and balance his life.
The sanctuary is surrounded by nature, giving a striking contrast between the vermilion color of which most of the buildings are painted, together with the pure green of nature.
This shrine is famous for the Japanese quince, the “boke”.
This sheltered plum tree blooms in spring. There are many varieties of the Japanese quince; The ones in the sanctuary are vermilion. It is said that about 400 years ago, an infertile wife went to pray at the shrine every day.
One day a messenger of the gods appeared and said, “You should take boke extract and you will become fertile.” She did and got pregnant. He planted a Japanese quince as a token of his appreciation.
Although it seems that there is only one tree, in reality it is about 400 trees that have grown together in a group. People come here to pray for conception, an easy delivery, and a healthy mind and body. The Kanmuri Inari is a gem that deserves to be visited.