Inside Maruyama Park in Sapporo, there is a famous shrine called Hokkaido Jingu which many people would try to visit when they are in Sapporo. As we made our way through the rocky paths leading to the shrine, we could see the tall trees and hear the sound of birds chirping. As mentioned in the previous blog of Maruyama Park, this park is big enough to house a stadium, a zoo, home to many wildlife animals therefore the walk towards the shrine was very pleasant.
As we were walking toward the main gate, we saw signs telling visitors how to wash their hands before going into the shrine. Due to COVID, these water fountains have been reconfigured to comply with cleanliness. When we finally reached the main shrine after cleaning our hands, we saw the steeply sloping roof and intricate wood carvings. The top also had two propeller looking wood with gold paint on the top giving the grand look for those who enter the main gate.
People took turns giving their wishes and offerings, it was quiet providing a peaceful atmosphere for all. We then walked around the shrine and there were beautiful wood pillars and roofs throughout the buildings. The best part was there were very minimal tourists so we were able to take our time taking pictures and enjoying our surroundings. As the weather was getting cold, many people would not stay for long and move along to their next destination.
There was a place to buy amulets which all have different meanings but most people will buy some wishing for a great year ahead. It started to snow as we were leaving but if you do come in the middle of winter, there are festivals that are held at the park. When visiting, keep in mind it is in the open so best to find a time when it is not raining or snowing too hard to visit. Wear some comfy shoes as you will be walking on rocky paths but best of all, enjoy the surroundings. Although it is in the city it doesn’t feel like you are in the city centre, more out in the country with lots of space and quietness, something you may not always get back home.
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