Akagi Jinja – Lake Onuma’s Guardian Shrine

Akagi Jinja (shrine) sits on the shore of Lake Onuma, not far from the trailhead that leads to the peaks of nearby Mt. Akagi. (The mountain, a stratovolcano, has numerous summits – three of which I summited last weekend as part of my hyakumeizan climb.)

The shrine dates to at least the 14th century, and has subsidiary shrines across Japan.

Although exhausted from the summit climb, I couldn’t pass the entrance to a Shinto shrine without stopping to pay a  visit.

Though fairly small, the shrine has lovely buildings, and its setting is spectacular.

Onuma surrounds the shrine on two sides, and a bright red bridge allows visitors to approach across an arm of the lake.

I love komainu (guardian lion-dogs) and photograph them everywhere I go in Japan. Akagi Jinja was no exception–and it has particularly nice guardians:

Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to spend at the shrine last week–I needed to make the last bus back to the train station in time to catch an evening train to Tokyo–but I’m glad I stopped by, and I definitely plan to make another trip to Gunma, and to Akagi Jinja, while I’m in Japan.