I visited KANAZAWA in July with Ms.KUBOTA who is my business partner translating my blog.
The purpose to visit there was to visit SHIRAYAMA-HIME shrine (白山比咩神社).
This shrine is located in a mountain called “Mt. HAKUSAN” (白山), mountain worshipped for long time by people as a place gods reside.
The god is called “SHIRAYAMA-BIME-NO-ŌKAMI” (白山比咩大神) also called “KUKURI-HIME” (菊理媛神) and said to reside in the top of a ridge called “GOZEN-MINE” (御前峰) at the 2,702m high where a rear shrine has been made for the god.
People climb in spite of strong winds and snows to feel the god amid such a land of mystery.
This time, we visited its main shrine located at the foot of Mt. HAKUSAN.
The building is sandwiched by “TEDORI-GAWA” river (手取川) which is the largest river in the KANAZAWA prefecture and “Mt. OKUSHISHIKU” (奥獅子吼山) where old Japanese cedar trees rise to the sky, so it is the place surrounded by sacred shrine forest.
The shrine consists of many buildings in Shinto Architecture and in the main building (本殿), since we had requested beforehand for a formal worship service (formal SANPAI) from the shrine, we were able to face the god in a very solemn atmosphere with a Shinto prayer recited by a priest and a dance dedicated to the god performed by a shrine maiden.
I felt relieved somehow as I was long time thinking that I had to see this KUKURI-HIME.
KUKURI-HIME is a god who appears only once in part of the Chronicles of Japan “NIHON-SHOKI” (日本書紀)
It is said that KUKURI-HIME acted as a go-between for IZANAGI(伊邪那岐) and IZANAMI (伊邪那美), the parents of AMATERASU-ŌMIKAMI (天照大神), so KUKURI-HIME has been worshiped since then as a matchmaker
The reason of my strong wish to visit and thank this god was that I consider my becoming acquainted with Ms. KUBOTA and starting this blog was made up by this god.
Now thanks to the SHINKANSEN opened up last year from Tokyo to KANAZAWA, my wish came true.
After visiting the shrine, we went to the famous market in this area “OUMICHŌ-ICHIBA” (近江町市場) and enjoyed delicious flesh seafood-bowl called “KAISEN-DON” (海鮮丼).
After the lunch, we also visited one of the three outstanding gardens in Japan: “KENROKU-EN” (兼六園).
It was my second time to visit KENROKU-EN, however as it was very long time ago, I got surprised again at the size and the height of the garden.
KENROKU-EN was established as a second house of the 4th lord of KAGA-HAN (KAGA domain).The theme of this garden is the water streaming throughout the garden and well-arranged ponds.
The must-see points of KENROKU-EN are the stone lantern placed by a pond called “KASUMI-GA-IKE” (霞が池) and “YUKI-TSURI” (雪吊り) : the act of lifting the branches of trees to prevent them from breaking due to accumulated snow during winter.
Usually, YUKI-TSURI starts from November, we couldn’t see it unfortunately!
It is absolutely amazing, the strong preference for details by the lord of KAGA domain, the beautiful culture the MAEDA family created in this place is no doubt as good as that of KYOTO!