Photo By: kawaguchiko.net
Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kofu
Population
888,170

Kawaguchi Asama Shrine

A shrine with breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and a historic past.

Created as a place of worship for Mount Fuji, the country’s most sacred mountain, visitors are drawn to Kawaguchi Asama Shrine in Yamanashi Prefecture for its humbling views and serene atmosphere. 

There are about 1,300 shrines around Japan with the name “Asama,” which means they are dedicated to Mount Fuji and connect with the appeasement or worship of volcanoes. These shrines are dedicated to Konohanasakuya-hime (cherry blossom princess), the goddess of volcanoes and Mount Fuji. Kawaguchi Asama Shrine is no different and was built in the year 865 as a means of appeasing the anger and eruptions of Mount Fuji.

Kawaguchi Asama Shrine

Photo by: kawaguchiko.net Three out of the seven Japanese cedars are over 1,200 years old.

In 2013, the shrine was designated as part of the Mount Fuji UNESCO World Heritage Site and had several noteworthy visitor spots. Near the main shrine are seven Japanese cedars, each with a different name and a life spanning over 1,200 years.

Two trees grow side by side, are collectively called futahashira (two pillars), and are known for bringing luck with matchmaking. You can buy small omamori (good luck charms) representing the two trees to bring that matchmaking luck with you wherever you go—I think we all know someone who could use that!

Kawaguchi Asama Shrine

Photo by: kawaguchiko.net The small but powerful torii…just don’t forget to bring some coins.

But for many, the main draw of the shrine is its small but picturesque torii (shrine gate), known as the tenku no torii (gate in the sky). It has this name because it sits atop a hill with a beautiful view of Mount Fuji. It was created in 2019 as a place to pray to Mount Fuji from a distance while being able to look directly at the mountain itself. It’s a bit far from the main shrine grounds and takes around 30 minutes to reach on foot.

When it comes to worshiping Mount Fuji, there are three practices: yohai (worship from a distance), shugen (training), and tohai (worship through climbing). Kawaguchi Asama Shrine prides itself on being the only shrine where you can do all three.

As well as worshiping Mount Fuji and appeasing its once fiery wrath, many people visit the shrine for matchmaking, safe births, good luck and protection against natural disasters. The annual festival at this shrine is called the magomi matsuri, celebrated on April 25. The festival has a showcase called chigo no maia (a ritual dance performance to prevent earthquakes and eruptions).

Things To Know

Hours and Fees

The shrine is open all year and is free to visit. But it costs ¥500 to take a picture at tenku no torii with any camera other than the one on your smartphone.

How To Get There

Address

By train

The nearest train station is Isawa-Onsen station on the Chuo Main line. From there, take a bus to the Kawaguchi Post Office bus stop.

By bus

The nearest bus stop is the Kawaguchi Post Office bus stop, about a 10-minute bus ride from Kawaguchiko Station.

Tenku no torii is a 30-minute uphill walk from the bus stop or 10 minutes by car. However, the roads are steep and narrow, and there is no designated parking. 

 


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