Futarasan Shrine, also known as Futarasan jinja, is a Shinto shrine located in the city of Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, which is about 150 kilometers north of Tokyo. The shrine is an important religious site and a popular tourist attraction in the region.
Futarasan Shrine was founded in the year 767 by Shodo Shonin, a Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to Nikko. The shrine is dedicated to three deities: Okuninushi-no-Mikoto, the god of good relationships and marriage; Tagorihime-no-Mikoto, the goddess of easy childbirth; and Ajisukitakahikone-no-Mikoto, the god of thunder and rain.
In the 17th century, during the Edo period, the shrine gained even more significance when it became a part of the Toshogu Shrine complex, which was built to enshrine the Tokugawa shogunate's first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Tips for Tourists:
1. Explore the Shrine Complex: Futarasan Shrine is located within the larger Toshogu Shrine complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take your time to explore the various buildings, gates, and beautiful natural surroundings.
2. Visit during Festivals: The shrine hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Yayoi Festival in April and the Shuki Taisai Festival in October. These events offer a chance to witness traditional rituals and performances.
3. Enjoy the Scenic Beauty: Futarasan Shrine is nestled in the picturesque Nikko National Park, surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking landscapes. Take a stroll around the area to appreciate the natural beauty and tranquility.
4. Respect the Shrine's Customs: When visiting Futarasan Shrine, it is important to be respectful of the sacred space. Bow slightly upon entering and leaving the shrine, avoid loud conversations, and do not touch any objects or structures unless permitted.
5. Combine with Other Attractions: Nikko is home to many other notable attractions, such as the Toshogu Shrine, Lake Chuzenji, and Kegon Falls. Consider planning a day trip to explore these nearby attractions along with Futarasan Shrine.
Remember to check the opening hours of the shrine before your visit, as they may vary depending on the season. Futarasan Shrine offers a unique blend of natural beauty, religious significance, and historical charm, making it a must-visit destination for travelers in Nikko.