There are hundreds of gods in Japan, with shrines dedicated to an even wider array of things. From rice, to fertility, and even digestion, it seems like there is a shrine for just about everything! Another shrine allegedly cure boils and illnesses is Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shrine [石切劔箭神社]. Hundreds of people regularly visit this shrine to pray for relief from common ailments like acne, boils, and rashes, to more serious diseases like cancer. Surrounding the shrine is a very long and lively shopping street that offers an array of goods, food, and fortune tellers.
The History of Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shrine
According to the shrine legend, the shrine originated 2,600 years ago when a god, Umashimade, enshrined his ancestor Nigihayahi no Mikoto.
According to the Kojiki, once Emperor Jimmu defeated his great nemesis Nagasunehiko and became the first emperor of Japan, the god Nigihayahi married Nagasunehiko’s sister. The couple then pledged their allegiance to Emperor Jimmu. Shortly thereafter, they gave birth to Umashimade. Later, Umashimade was also enshrined in the shrine as well.
Getting to Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shrine
The closest station to Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shrine is the Kintestsu Ishikiri Station off the Kintetsu Nara Line. From Ishikiri Station to the shrine it is a straight shot down the shopping street, so you wont get lost.
You could also get off at the Shin-Ishikiri Station off the Kintetsu Keihanna Line. At first glance this might seem like the better decision as the Kintetsu Keihanna Line directly connects to the Osaka Metro Chuo Line and might be even closer to the shrine than Ishikiri Station. But I recommend getting off at Ishikiri Station, as the walk down the shopping street is very enjoyable and offers plenty to see.
Once you get off at Ishikiri Station, you will see the shopping street.
Along the shopping street that leads to the shrine grounds are many vendors selling an array of things, including local goods. You will notice that there are also many fortune tellers here as well. The reason why there are so many fortune tellers here is not entirely clear, but many people around Osaka consider the area near Mount Ikoma, which is near Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shrine, a very spiritual place.
The torii of Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shrine is quite big and seemingly very modern.
As you approach the entrance of the shrine, you will see a symbol of sword above the shrine’s gate. Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shrine enshrines a sword and arrow that are the embodiment of Nigihayahi no Mikoto. These sacred objects are rumored to be able to cut through anything. This is why people believe the shrine can cure abscesses or tumors, especially cancer; since these objects can cut through the surfer’s affliction.
Once you go through the gate, you will see people walking around two stone pillars, one closer to the entrance and one near the honden. This ritual is ohyakudo-mairi and is supposed to help someone fulfills their prayers once they walk around the pillars one-hundred times. While ohyakudo-mairi is not uncommon, it is particularly popular here.
Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shrine
|Address||1-1 Higashi Ishikiricho, Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture 〒579-8013|
|Hours of Operation||Mon-Sun: Dawn-Dusk|
Coming next time, Ishiyama Temple, Shiga’s Most Beautiful Temple!!
The adventure continues…