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9-Headed-Dragon Shinto Water Purification Basin (HDR Photo)

Hakone「箱根神」 Japan Photos

9-Headed-Dragon Shinto Water Purification Basin (HDR Photo)

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9-Headed-Dragon Water Purification Basin at Hakone Shrine

Nestled near the foot of Mt Hakone, on the premises of Hakone Shrine, is a shrine dedicated to a very interesting legend. That legend tells the tale of a Shinto Buddhist monk using his mystical powers to banish a 9 headed dragon from Lake Ashi. The dragon was inflicting great damage on Hakone.

9-Headed-Dragon Water Purification Basin
「Kuzuryū-no-temizuya, 九頭龍の手水舎」

9-Headed-Dragon Water Purification Basin at Hakone Shrine

9-Headed-Dragon Water Purification Basin 「Kuzuryu Temizuya, 九頭龍の手水舎」 (HDR Photo)

Instead of being a menace to the area, after the monks exorcism, the dragon became a guardian spirit. The dragon spirit is honoured every year.

Every year in summer a ritual is performed on the lake near the shrine, where a Shinto priest feeds special red rice, enough to feed the nine heads of the dragon.

[dropcap background=”yes” color=”#333333″ size=”50px”]九[/dropcap] = く, ku (nine)

[dropcap background=”yes” color=”#333333″ size=”50px”]頭[/dropcap] = ず, zu (head)

[dropcap background=”yes” color=”#333333″ size=”50px”]龍[/dropcap] = りゅう, ryū (dragon)

The temizuya and shrine are a relatively new addition to Hakone Shrine. Kuzuryu-jinja was built in 1988, the year of the dragon.

Read more about Kuzuryu-jinja in Hakone.

Interested in visiting Hakone Shrine? See the Hakone Shrine travel guide.

Location of the kuzuryū-no-temizuya:

[bgmp-map placemark=”5228″ zoom=”15″]

View this location – Map coordinates: 35.204762, 139.025608.

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Deano「ヂィノ」 Wormald

Your man in Japan, online since 2009. I used to live in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, and travel to Japan at least once a year for three weeks.

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