The hillside Tamatsukuriyu Jinja, founded in 733 to guard over the hot springs
You often find shrines in Japan presiding over hot springs. Why? Clearly there are few places as awe-inspiring in terms of nature’s magnificence than places where steam continually issues forth from underground. Few places are more evocative of nature’s blessings, as well as its ominous power.
At the Tamatsukuri resort, reported on in a previous post, there is a hillside shrine dating back to 733 commemorating the site where magatama were produced in ancient times. The shrine has an unusual feature in using pebbles infused with energy from a ‘power stone’ for its omamori (amulets). The procedure is clearly outlined in a paper explanation available at the shrine, and illustrated in the pictures below.
At the shrine office there is a paper explanation of how to go about the power stone ritual
You first collect a pouch and small agate stone
At the top of the flight of stairs, next to the Honden, is a ‘power rock’
First you pay respects…
… then you pour water over the rock as ritual purification
… and then you rub the pebble against the rock to absorb its power
Inside the pouch is a piece of paper on which to write your prayer-wish
You leave the paper-wish in a small box before the Worship Hall which the priest will ritually offer up to the kami
The shrine is in the attractive Izumo style with thick shimenawa rice ropes outside the Worship Hall and, here, within the Worship Hall at the entrance to the Honden (Sanctuary)
The custom is to leave a coin offering in the thick shimenawa in front of the Haiden. Having done that, you can be more assured that the kami will favour you.