Last May, I was one of the lucky hopefuls to visit Japan as the Philippine representative for the JENESYS Programme. The trip to Japan was my all-time dream come true because I really wanted to visit Japan ever since highschool. When we were in Japan, we followed a strict schedule during our 9-day stay.
One of our destination was the amazing Kushida Shrine, situated at the heart of Hakata, Fukuoka, Japan. From the Gion subway, we head our way by feet to this magnificent structure of art that was founded in 757. Upon arriving, we were welcomed by the beautiful shrine gate of Kushida Shrine.
(In case you don’t know, Japan’s former dominating religion was Shintoism. Now, most Japanese practice Buddhism, but the belief of Shintoism still exists nowadays. And according to our tour guides/coordinators, one way to identify if the worshiping place in Japan is a shrine or a temple is the gate itself. Shrines have gates like the one below, while temples don’t have. Another info: Shrines are for Shintoism, while Temples are for Buddhism.)
Of course, the fact that being here in Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I didn’t miss the chance to take a picture of me with the shrine, even the entrance!
When you enter a shrine in Japan like Kushida Shrine, there are practices that you must do before actually visiting the center of the shrine. Here, you have to wash your hands in the washing fountain before entering, drinking from the fountain is optional. In washing hands, you wash first your left hand, then your right hand, then wash your both hands including the handle of the wooden dipper. According to the Japanese, this ti cleanse yourself before entering a shrine.
And the main tour started! We can’t be stopped at taking pictures with the statues and the shrine’s interior. We were so amazed how clean and peaceful the shrine is, and how magnificent the entire shrine itself. Of course, we didn’t miss the chance to pray the Shintoist style. 🙂
It was really one of the places that I missed during my trip to Japan. And I promise to be back to Fukuoka and visit Kushida Shrine again. 🙂