Hokkaido Shrine

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HOKKAIDO SHRINE was constructed in 1871 to hold the deities, Ōkunitama, Okuninushi, and Sukunahikona, and also the soul of the Meiji Emporer. It is the main Shrine of Hokkaido and a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. It is located in MARUYAMA PARK (Maruyama Koen) on the West side of Sapporo

 

Matt-035The shrine is well worth a look in all seasons, especially Spring.  It is surrounded by 1,500 cherry blossom trees which usually bloom early to mid May. During this time thousands of locals have their HANAMI (flower viewing parties) and the temple is a great backdrop. In early Summer the Sapporo FESTIVAL is held which sees portable shrines carried around the city and stalls set up near the Shrine. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is also a popular time where families will go to pray.

 

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At the shrine you are free to walk around in the courtyard where you can take photos, purchase fortune tokens, and see the occasional traditional Japanese wedding. Don’t be surprised to see a monk blessing a car out the front either as some new car owners pay for this ceremony.

 

The shrine is located in MARUYAMA PARK (Maruyama Koen) which is located on the west side of Sapporo. The main way to get there is to take the subway from ODORI subway station and take the TOZAI LINE (Orange line) to MARUYAMA KOEN which is 3 stops.  After exiting it’s a 15 minute walk west through Maruyama park. Keep heading up the path which is lined with huge Elm and Cider trees. Along the way you will see various smaller shrines.