- May 14th, 2019
[Akkeshi Shrine in Akkeshi] Messenger of God Guided Me to Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom
Akkeshi Shrine (厚岸神社) is an old shrine founded in 1791 by Mr. Tokunai Mogami (最上徳内), a famous explorer, in Akkeshi town located in the eastern direction of Kushiro city, and is next to Kokutaiji Temple (国泰寺). Shinmeigu Shrine (神明宮), former Akkeshi Shrine, used to be originally at precincts of the Kokutaiji Temple, and it was transfered from there to here, and its name was changed as the Akkeshi Shrine. The shrine is not famous as a good place to see cherry blossoms, but the cherry blossoms at precincts of the Akkeshi Shrine are very good. The best time to see the cherry blossoms is about from early May to mid May. A main building, Juzo Kondo Memorial Stone (近藤重蔵の碑), a shrine office and a public restroom are built at the site. Admission free. A parking lot is not provided, but spaces for parking cars are near Akkeshi Town Local Museum (厚岸町郷土館) and the public restroom.
Akkeshi Summer Festival (厚岸夏祭り) is held between 2days in early July. Materials contributed to the shrine are displayed at the local museum. It is allowed to enter for JPY 100, too. Business hour is 09:00-16:00. Speaking of the Akkeshi, oyster is famous. Dishes related to the oyster is served at some restaurants in the Akkeshi. As for restaurants in the Akkeshi, Moritaka Ranch (森高牧場), Akkeshi Ekimae Ujiie Machiaisho (厚岸駅前氏家待合所), Escale (エスカル), Sumiyaki Aburiya (炭焼炙屋) and Akkeshi Yabusoba (厚岸藪蕎麦) are popular in particular. Unfortunately, hot springs do not gush out in the Akkeshi.
Kokutaiji Temple (国泰寺) is an ancient temple founded in 1804 in Akkeshi town located in the eastern direction of Kushiro city, and is next to Akkeshi Shrine (厚岸神社). The temple is one of The 3 Government Temples in Yezo recognized by Edo shogunate together with Usu Zenkoji Temple (有珠善光寺) in Date and Tojunin (等澍院) in Samani, and is well-known as a good place to see cherry blossoms. Old Cherry Tree (老桜樹) of 180 years old is famous. The best time to see the cherry blossoms is about from early May to mid May. A main building, a cemetery, the Old Cherry Tree, stone images of Kannon, Butsugesharito Stone (仏牙舎利塔), Ryuoden Building (龍王殿), Bato Kannon-do Building (馬頭観音堂), Akkeshi Town Local Museum (厚岸町郷土館) and Ainu People Chukonhi Stone (アイヌ民族忠魂碑) are built at the site. Admission free. But the main building is allow to enter for JPY 100. Business hour is 08:00-16:00. The Akkeshi Town Local Museum is allowed to enter for JPY 100, too. Business hour is 09:00-16:00. A parking lot is not provided, but a space for parking cars is near the local museum. Read More
Cherry Blossoms of Hokkaido
Cherry blossoms begin to bloom from late April in Hokkaido. The cherry blossoms in the Southern Hokkaido including Hakodate begin to bloom from late April, and in case of late blooming, the cherry blossoms in the Eastern Hokkaido and the Northern Hokkaido seem to bloom in early June. The cherry blossoms in Honshu (the main island of Japan) begin to bloom from mid March, and tourists can enjoy the cherry blossoms until too late season. If everybody forget to see the cherry blossoms in the Honshu, please visit the Hokkaido to savor the cherry blossoms. Read More
Precincts of Akkeshi Shrine
3 white torii gates are built at the precincts of the shrine, and the Juzo Kondo Memorial Stone is near the main building. Amaterasu Oomikami (天照皇大神), Toyuke Goddess (豊受姫神) and Ichikishimahime-no-mikoto (市杵島命) are worshiped at the main building. It seems that here is also a sacred site. About 100 sargent cherry trees are planted at the site, and a conbination of an atmosphere of the shrine and the cherry blossoms is very beautiful. The site is not large, so I guess that it takes about 30 minutes to look around on foot.
Pink cherry blossoms are at the right side of steps of the approach to the shrine, and green Japanese Yew tree is at the left side of steps of the approach to the shrine, and color contrast is interesting. After going up the steps, Guardian dogs come into sight. Then the main building appears. The shinmei-style building covered with cherry blossomes has a good atmosphere. I guess that the Shinmeigu Shrine, the former Akkeshi Shrine, probably was the shinmei-style building because those names are close.
A deer appeared near the public restroom. I asked a worshipper, and she replied “a lot of deers inhabit around here. The deer is not not uncommon”. I think that it is uncommon that the deer appears at a residential street, so I can not help feeling good luck because the deer is known as a messenger of god. I followed the deer, and reached the path to the main building. Cherry blossoms were full in bloom at the both sides of the path. Thank you, god and the deer for guiding me to the best place to enjoy the cherry blossoms in the Akkeshi Shrine.
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (4 cars)|
|Business hour||24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open year all round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||637 101 455*53|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Akkeshi. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Hokkaido Cherry Tree is here
Hokkaido Cherry Tree
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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