Nearest station

Shiojiri

JR Chūō Main Line

Nagano-ken, Shiojiri-shi, Seba 738

長野県塩尻市洗馬 738

大田諏訪神社

   Ōta Suwa Jinja

Home page: None

August 22, 2017

Enshrined Deities:  

Main

Tateminakata-no-mikoto   建御名方命

From Merged Shrines

In-ground Shrines: 

Myōgi Jinja        妙義神社

Tsushima Jinja  津島神社

Earliest mention of:   1839

Annual Festival:    First Saturday/Sunday of April

History

The following is largely taken from a notice board in the shrine. Work on the shrine, which was modelled on the main Suwa Taisha, started in June 1839 but was not completed until February 1847. The construction was financed entirely by the villagers, and was overseen by Shiobara Gensuke (塩原源助)an apprentice to one of the masters of the Tatekawa school of shrine carpenters, Tatekawa Washirō.  Gensuke's dragon carvings on the main hall are said to be impressive (although I was unable to see them because of their positioning). The roof on the main hall was was originally  covered with hinoki bark thatching​  but as this was very susceptible to damage caused by the heavy snowfalls in the region it was replaced by copper roofing in November 2006. Just behind the main hall there is a large (350cm in circumference) cedar tree which may be as old as the shrine itself. In November 2005 a ceremony was held to 

formally declare it a sacred tree (shinboku).

Description

Almost three km, 30 minutes or so, on foot from Shiojiri Station. There is a bus service, the nearest stop is about  0.6km from the shrine. If you are in the neighbourhood this shrine is worth a visit, otherwise probably not. It has a rustic charm and the serenity usually found in out of the way shrines, but otherwise not a great deal to offer. For me, its visually most interesting aspect is the ryōbu torii and the rough and ready way in which all six pillars are supported.

(Click on images to expand them)

   Ōta Suwa Jinja 大田諏訪神社
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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated