After our trip to Kasukabe, we continued our trip down to Washinomiya, which simply involved a train ride up on the same train from the same station. As soon as we arrived, we saw this. The fact that we were on the right track was now beyond the shadow of a doubt.
<3 Hiiragi Twins. This portable shrine houses the spirit of the Lucky star characters, which to this day continue to look over and after us.
Shortly after walking out of the station, we had more signs greeting us, including one that welcomed us along the pilgrimage.
These posters were hung on all the lamp posts along the way to the shrine.
This is the road to walk down.
I took a different way from the main streets. When I got to the river, I turned left immediately and walked along the river.
After that, we turned right at the 2nd bridge and took the left fork in the road and arrived at the shrine's carpark. There were police watching out for unruly otaku.
Thats the tea house just outside the shrine.
And the Torii gates to Washinomiya Shrine. According to its own website, it is the oldest shrine still in existence in the Kantou region and houses some really old relics.
Ooh its Kagami.
The spot to take the picture from was actually marked. The focus length and angle came naturally.
There was also a store that sold all sorts of stuff with the Lucky Star branding.
After that we decided to go into the shrine.
The tourou (lanterns) line the sandou (pathway) into the shrine.
The Lucky Star crazy seems to have brought in enough money for an ambitious redevelopment plan.
We saw all the little charms tied to the wires too.
And of course, the legendary emas (prayer plaques) lining the prayer frames.
There were thousands of them, and mostly very recent ones too. Some however, were pretty old. I guess they selectively took down the ones that weren't as pretty.
There will be many many more on these frames once new year comes.
Here's a building that houses a mobile shrine. These mobile shrines are actually true shrines that are also believed to house a god.
As you enter, you are given a chance to cleanse your hands and mouth at a temizuya (hand washing house). There are even instructions on how to do so on a little board on top.
They are preparing for new year already.
Several shrines to gods from the Yaoyorozu no Kamitachi (8 million gods) are scattered over the grounds of the greater shrine. These are the sessha (lesser shrines) of the main shrine. Washinomiya houses 3 main gods, the spirits of Amenohohi, Takehinatori and Ohonamuji, and there are 9 other shrines to the lesser gods.
There was also a cage housing various birds such as a chicken and a peacock, that represent the gods enshrined in this place.
This is the Haiden, where most of the worship takes place. Usually in order to wish for something, you go to the donation box, toss in some coins, ring the bells, bow twice and clap your hands twice and state your wishes silently.
The Honden at the back which enshrines the 3 main gods.
I wrote a little wish for everyone on a prayer plaque I bought too ^_^;
Soon it was time for the student council to leave the shrine.
There was a shop just outside the train station that had little goodies on display too.
And even a relic of its own.
We got back to Tokyo at 6, and it was already pitch black. It was time for some rest and more adventure tomorrow!