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
NIKON D5200 (24mm, f/4, 1/80 sec, ISO400)
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:

Loading map...


View this location – Map coordinates: 35.204762, 139.025608.