F The Futurusan Chugushi Shrine in Nikko - jeepneyjinggoy

The Futurusan Chugushi Shrine in Nikko

Legend has it that a god helped the priest Shodo cross a raging river by creating a bridge with two serpents, thus allowing the priest and his followers to successfully fulfill their task— to scale Mount Nantai to pray for the nation’s prosperity in the end of the Nara Era.

Mt. Nantai & the Futurasan Shrine

Shodo Shonin, who introduced Buddhism to Nikko, is also the founder of Nikko Futurasan Shrine. It is a huge shrine covering 3,400 hectares and dedicated to the deities of the three sacred mountains- Mount Nantai, the most prominent, and Mount Nyoho and Mount Taro. The Japanese believes that holy existence resides in these mountains. Shrines were built in the area so the worshippers can be close to the gods when praying.

The tori gate of Futurusan Chugushi Shrine

Performance for tourists

Centuries old tree

The 784-built shrine of Chugushi (Intermediate Shrine) is one of three shrine buildings related to and called Futarasan Shrine in Nikko. Honsha and Okumiya are the other two. This shrine is located at the foot of Mount Nantai, along the picturesque shoreline of Chuzenji-ko. It stands between the Futurasan Jinja Shrine (Main Shrine) and the Okumiya (Inner Shrine).

The Futurusan Chugushi shrine is located at the base of Mt. Nantai, along the shoreline of Lake Chuzenji

Lake Chuizenji

Why was this shrine built? Since climbing Mount Nantai was difficult, Shodo Shonin built the Chugu-shi Shrine for the people who couldn’t scale the slope and worship at Okumiya, the shrine at the mountaintop. 

Futurusan Chugushi Shrine was built for the people who can't scale the mountaintop shrine of Okumiya

In this shrine is a yellow bell. It is said to answer the prayers of those who seek a good match when tolled. No restrictions here, anyone can ring it. Good luck! 

Maybe this it the yellow bell that answers prayers of those who seek a good match?

Or is it this bell?

How to get there: 

From the JR or Tobu Nikko Station, take the Tobu bus to the direction of Yumoto Onsen. Get off at the Futarasan Jinja Mae bus stop.

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.

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