The shrine’s home page tells us that it was founded in 1191 when Minamoto Yoritomo decreed that Ebisu, the main kami of Nishinomiya Jinja in what was then Settsu Province and is now Nishinomiya-shi in Hyogo-ken, would be the tutelary deity of what was then known as Tomioka-gun. Festivals were held annually in his honour on June 15 and August 25. On June 15, 1227, however, the spirit of Hachiman Ōkami appeared at the shrine and declared that he should be worshipped at the shrine from that day on; he was immediately enshrined as the main deity and the shrine was named Hachiman-Gū. Note that Ebisu is enshrined under the Hiruko-no-mikoto ("Leech Child") name.
Its location on a small hill overlooking the ocean to the northeast of Kamakura meant that it was also seen as
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
From Merged Shrines
Annual Festival: July 15
protecting the Kamakura Bakufu against the negative influences seen as emanating from the inauspicious Kimon direction. One of its notice boards describes this. In 1311 a major tsunami struck the coastline but the hill on which the shrine was located shielded the area from damage and it became known, at least for a time, as Namiyoke (波除) Hachiman. The ema above commemorates this.
In 1325 a military commander by the name of Fujiwara Sadayasu presented a set of the 600 fascicle Chinese translation of the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra to the shrine. This remained in its possession until the early Meiji period when it was transferred to the nearby Keisan-ji (慶珊寺) temple as part of the Shinbutsu-bunri process.
In 1873 it was given village shrine status and in 1913 became a Shinsen-heihakuryō-kyōshin-jinja. In 1924 heavy rainfalls damaged parts of the shrine, particularly the prayer hall; the main hall, which dates to 1587, was undamaged. The prayer hall was rebuilt in 1926.
About eight minutes' walk from Tomioka Station. Not as visually interesting as its Tōkyō counterpart, but this is probably only to be expected as it by far the older-- close to half a millennium older--of the two and did not begin to enjoy the fruits of economic and cultural development in the surrounding area until relatively recently.