Ujigami-jinja Shrine 宇治上神社

The oldest Shinto shrine

A few minutes from the famous Byôdô-in , on the other bank of the Uji River, a real treasure awaits, and above all, deserves your visit. Belonging to the set of historic monuments of ancient Kyoto listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the Ujigami-jinja is the oldest Shinto shrine in the archipelago. Sheltered from view, hidden in lush greenery, this guardian sanctuary of Byôdô-in watches over its gleaming neighbour, without any pretension.

In 2004, dendrochronological analyzes will make it possible to date this trellis with precision. This study of the growth rings of the wood reveals that the structure dates from 1060!

Science has thus come to corroborate what has been said for a long time: the Ujigami jinja is indeed the oldest original Shinto sanctuary in the entire archipelago. The shrine miraculously escaped the many battles and natural disasters that affected other monuments in Uji.

Its haiden or prayer hall dates from the beginning of the Kamakura period (1185-1333) . It is framed by two mounds of sand, called tatesuna, symbolizing sacred mountains.

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The Ujigami jinja honden was built in 1060

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These acid-toned bunnies echo another episode in the life of Prince Wakiiratsuko. One day, the prince, lost in the mountains, meets a rabbit at a bend in the path. The animal makes him understand that he can guide him to return to Uji and urges him to follow him.

To do this, he keeps jumping and turning towards Wakkiratsuko, seeming to say to him: "Follow me Prince". This "mikaeri usagi" or "turning rabbit" who managed to bring the prince back to his residence became the guardian spirit of the Ujigami jinja .

If you address a prayer to him, the rabbit will show you the way to best lead your destiny.

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Kiriharasui spring at the entrance to the shrine

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lapin-omikuji

Small omikuji bunnies

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