The One about Itsukushima Shrine in Nerima

For those traveling to Nerima will definitely want to head to Shakuji Park to check out Itsukushima Shrine, Sanbuji Teple and Pond.

Created during the Edo Era, the shrine’s date of when it was founded is unknown but it is considered a water shrine.

What is known that the shrine received renovation in 1957, completed in 1985, was reinforced with concrete in 1988 and a seawall was created in 1987.

A festival is celebrated at the shrine on the first Sunday in April.

While I wish I could give more information on Itsukushima Shrine, the truth is that information is sparse.  There is a torii on the entrance to the temple pond, there is a bridge that goes to the shrine (with a locked gate) but you have a good eye view from the side of the pond of Sanbu-ji Temple and Itsukushima Shrine.

Right behind the bridge is a torii leading to what looks like an area on the side of a hill.  Yes, it looks a little haunted.  It’s called Bore Benten (Uga Shrine).  Supposedly Bore Benten leads to a cave under the south hill known as Ikejima Cave where people would take a torch back in the old days, go inside and pray.

courtesy of visiting-japan.com
courtesy of visiting-japan.com

There are photos of what’s inside the cave, apparently there is a concrete Buddhist Temple underneath with a statue of Ugami (which was discovered at the bottom of Samboji Temple.  Another legend is that it was discovered at the bottom of the pond.) and people visit in early April.  The cave is about 10 meters (32 feet) and it is said that the Uga Shrine is a god of the snake body known as Benzaiten.

People believe that if you pray to Ugami, it will bring improvement of art, academics and wealth.

The gates are locked now due to safety concerns.  But if you want to visit, they open it during the festival time in April.

Again, definitely a place worth visiting in Nerima if you go to Shakuji Park!