Igusa Hachimangu is a huge Shinto shrine that is home to many different kinds of plants and trees. This shrine overlooks the clear stream of the Zenpukuji River. Since Zenpukuji Pond, which is the source of the Zenpukuji River, is an abundant spring, it is thought that people have lived in this area for a long time.
Igusa Hachimangu was believed to be founded around 1190. A red pine tree and a black pine tree were planted here by the Shogun Yoritomo Minamoto around 1200. The roots of the trees are now exhibited at the front of the shrine.
Igusa Hachimangu is also famous for yabusame, the art of shooting arrows on horseback, and it is held once every five years. It started around 900 as a martial art but has since become a ritual for Shogun families to wish to ward off evil spirits or for a newborn baby’s good health. Their annual festival is also held on October 1st and is a great way to experience the lively festival atmosphere within the normally tranquil grounds.
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