And the end has come. Chapter 12, the last of the 12 Chapters of Nagoya Tour. It had been wonderful to experience these walking guides each week for the last 12 weeks. I must admit some of the sites were not as interesting as others, but looking at the overall bigger picture they all tied in and made sense. Through these walking guides I have learned so much more about Nagoya and its history; about the stories behind significant tourist places; and a little bit about what lies behind the Japanese culture. I am not saying I have uncovered what the culture is about as it is a deep-rooted traditional culture. First you have to learn the language and have closer relations with traditional and modern families to begin to understand these people.
I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters where visiting temples and shrines were involved as I am quite intrigued by the intricate architectural details of the buildings and the ritualistic ceremonies held ever so often. I have enjoyed collecting Goshuin, calligraphy stamps from temples and shrine. I will post them next time.
For now, let us take another walk through the Power Spot Course. This power spot course proved to need more power walking indeed. I have cheated on this chapter as the weather have become hotter, more humid or rainy to make leisurely walks. I have done this course in instalments. But it is not a race, well not for me anyway.
1. Kogane Shrine, Yamada Tenmagu Shrine. This shrine is popular for those seeking more wealth and success in their studies. Around the shrine it is evident that many have prayed for these requests as it is heavily littered with statues of maneki-neko – the beckoning cat, known for bringing good luck to its owner, as well as daruma dolls – a symbol for perseverance and good luck.
2. Seimei Shrine. One of the three shrines to pray for success in romance, which can be accomplished through this walking course, Seimei Shrine is deceivingly tiny. Dedicated to Abe-no-Seimei an esoteric cosmologist who dispelled snakes that lived in the marshes around the area. The incantation performed here is popular to dispel evil and fortune-telling to consummate love.
3. Ueno Tenmangu Shrine. Built over 1000 years ago, the shrine has two cows at the entrance. These cows are famous for those seeking relief from any affliction to their body by rubbing the corresponding part of the cow’s body. Others visit the shrine to pray for success in examination as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to see the beauty of this shrine as when I arrived at the site it was fully covered with scaffolding. Maybe another time.
4. Shiroyama Hachimangu Shrine. I visited this shrine in another chapter and liked the area. Although I did not find the ‘marital tree’ worshipped for happy marriage and restoration of relationships, I enjoyed the other historical remains present in the shrine grounds. Shiroyama Hachimangu Shrine is one of the three shrines of love.
5. Takamu Shrine. The third shrine for success in romance. Takamu Shrine is also known for the Motokoi legend, where one could drink from the water fountain of the good well that promises a start to a new romance. Famous amongst young women in search for love.
6. Sakuratenjin Shrine. Old blending in with the new, this shrine is set in between commercial buildings in Nagoya. I have visited this shrine as part of another chapter but learned a new information in this chapter. The cow stone statue is known as the Wishing Water Cow. It is believed that when you make a wish and using the ladle to pour water on the cow, with the number according to your age, your wish shall come true. I would have been there a long time.
7. Atsuta Shrine. Quite a famous shrine this one. For these chapters alone it had been mentioned twice already, in Chapter 3 and Chapter 8. I like this shrine as it has a beautiful property around it. There are many festivals and special days attributed to this shrine so one would not be bored visiting it many times.
8. Gokiso Hachimangu Shrine. This shrine is small and older in its appearance. There is a large boulder in the shrine called the ‘god stone’ the god of long life. Tokugawa Ieyasu was known to have prayed here for the Battle of Nagakute, considered as one of the largest and most important battles in the history of Japan.
And that concludes the 12 Chapters of Nagoya Tour. I hope, for those who have read and followed the chapters, have enjoyed learning something new about Nagoya and a little bit of Japan’s colourful history. If you would like to catch up with previous chapters, here they are:
Chapter 1: Nagoya Castle Course
Chapter 2: Course covering region of the Owari Tokugawa family and the Cultural Path
Chapter 3: Oda Nobunaga “Owari’s Foolhardy Youth” Course
Chapter 4: Course Covering the Birthplace of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Kato Kiyomasa
Chapter 5: Course for Experiencing Nagoya Manufacturing
Chapter 6: Nagoya Stroll Course
Chapter 7: Funtown Osu Course
Chapter 8: Atsuta History Course
Chapter 9: Course Featuring the Townscape of Arimatsu and the Battle of Okehazama
Chapter 10: Arako Walking Course of Maeda Toshiie
Chapter 11: Shiroyama and Kakuozan Course
Thank you all for following and visiting. Looking forward to your future visits next time.