After just a few hours in Shizuoka prefecture I was on a train heading back over the border to Kanagawa prefecture to visit Yugawara which is actually just the one stop from Atami. The reason being that I wanted to visit Fukusen-ji Temple (191 Izumi, Atami-shi) which was about twenty minutes away on foot.
Located just across a river, there were some steps leading up to this temple which included a quaint thatched roof on the main building and some wisteria flowers. I was only there for one thing though and that was to see the big ceramic Buddha head which it has to be said is not the most aesthetically pleasing! The full bodied statue was made about 300 years ago by Mitsutomo Tokugawa, the lord of Nagoya Castle, to mourn his deceased mother. Originally enshrined in the castle grounds but was moved to this temple after it had been destroyed in WWII. As for what happened to the other body parts, who knows!! Maybe they are buried somewhere underground back in Nagoya!
It has been said that from certain angles that it looks like an old guy going into an onsen which is fitting as Yugawara is famed for its hot spring baths.
Before going to Yugawara I was completely unaware of Gosho-jinja Shrine (359-1 Miyashita) but on the way to Fukusen-ji Temple I noticed it across the road and decided I’d check it out on my return as I thought it looked quite interesting. The Seven Lucky Gods (shichifukujin in Japanese) are believed to grant good luck and they are represented at this shrine via these sizeable statues which are dotted around the place including one of them over the road!
Hotei, Jurōjin, Fukurokuju, Bishamonten, Benzaiten, Daikokuten and Ebisu are their names not that I could identify any of them!
This particular shrine possesses an estimated 800 year old tree which is a “power spot” where people go in order to charge up with good energies or improve their luck. My wife is into all that yet it is me that has recently been to this place as well as the power spot at Anamori Inari shrine too! I can’t say I felt anything at either place other than tiredness! It was a 13 minute walk back to the station from Gosho-jinja where I returned to Atami station to get my case and then journeyed south to Ito to stay with my parents-in-law.
Click here to read ‘An Afternoon In Atami’