OWL Magazine Korea

Nara, Nara Park “Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine”

Adjacent to the well-known Todai-ji Nigatsu-do and Sangatsu-do in Nara Park, there is a small shrine that might not attract much attention from visitors, especially those overshadowed by the grandeur of Todai-ji.

“Nara Park, Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine”

Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine is quite renowned among the Hachiman shrines nationwide, dedicated to Hachiman, the god of war, and equivalent to Emperor Ojin. Legend has it that when constructing Todai-ji, a divine message from Hachiman was received, offering assistance in building Todai-ji. The shrine played a crucial role, contributing to the successful completion of Todai-ji.

Subsequently, Hachiman was honored with the Buddhist title “Hachiman Daibosatsu,” and this location became the starting point of the syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism.

Originally part of Todai-ji, it housed a statue of Hachiman from the Kamakura period, later designated a national treasure. However, after the separation of Shinto and Buddhism, the statue was moved to Todai-ji.

“Ema Fulfilling Love Wishes”

Similar to other shrines, Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine features Ema, wooden plaques where visitors write and hang wishes. Here, you can find Ema specifically expressing wishes for fulfilling love.

After exploring Todai-ji’s Nigatsu-do and Sangatsu-do in Nara Park, visiting Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine feels like a natural continuation. During this trip to Japan, I haven’t visited many shrines, so it’s a pleasant and somewhat spontaneous experience.

In reality, shrines are familiar elements in Japanese travels due to their abundance and similar architectural structures. After exploring Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine in Nara Park, I headed to the next destination within Nara Park.

“Nara, Nara Park Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine (手向山八幡宮)”