Japan Enoshima Shrine

At the end of the shopping street on Enoshima I arrived at a large torii gate that marked the entrance to Enoshima Shrine. There are actually three separate Enoshima Shrines on the island but this is the main one and it is called Hetsunomiya.

Japan Enoshima Shrine

Japan Enoshima Shrine

Japan Enoshima Shrine

Japan Enoshima Shrine

Japan Enoshima Shrine

Japan Enoshima Shrine

Enoshima Shrine dates back to around the year 552 and is dedicated to Benten, the patron goddess of the island. Benten is the Shinto deity of wealth and people oftentimes pray here for prosperity. People also pray here for romantic success, as seen the in the pink prayer tablets that are hung at the shrine.

Japan Enoshima Shrine

Japan Enoshima Shrine

Off to the side from the main area of Hetsunomiya is a smaller shrine dedicated to the mythic history of Enoshima. An old legend says that a dragon named Gozuryu plagued the area of the mainland near Enoshima for thousands of years but one day the goddess Benten arrived on the scene. She created Enoshima Island to serve as her home and she soon caught the attention of the dragon. Gozuryu fell madly in love with Benten and asked her to marry him but Benten refused and shamed the dragon for terrorizing the people that lived in this part of Japan. The dragon immediately reformed himself and became the protector of the land, and when Gozuryu died its body became the hills on the mainland across from Enoshima.

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