Kamakura: Maruyama Inari Shrine

Maruyama Inari Shrine (丸山稲荷社) is the oldest shrine on the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu grounds in Kamakura. The Shinto deity of rice, agriculture, and prosperity, Inari is enshrined here. Its building is also the oldest surviving structure at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. It dates back to the Muromachi period (1336-1573) and is designated an Important Cultural Property. It was moved from a nearby location, and the hill it now stands on consists of gravel and rocks taken from the mountainside when the Main Shrine was constructed just east of here in 1191.

The shrine is guarded by two stone foxes, which are considered messengers of Inari. The red banners surrounding the shrine, like the bright red torii gates that line the path up to it, were dedicated to Inari by local worshipers to pray for success in business or a plentiful harvest.

photos: Junko Nagata ©Japanbyweb.com