Day 10 (1/6).
Under the Meiji Government, the Hokkaido Development Commission was established in 1869, and the pioneer movement in Japan’s northernmost and second largest island, Hokkaido, officially began. The Japanese pioneers brought over their living culture, farming techniques, and faith of Shintoism. Emperor Meiji in Tokyo enshrined three deities Ōkunitama, Ōkuninushi, and Sukunahikona as the deities of Hokkaido reclamation (開拓三神) to support the pioneer movement. These deities were then moved to Sapporo from Tokyo. The shrine housing these Shinto deities was first named as Sapporo Shrine, and then in 1964 renamed as Hokkaido Shrine (北海道神宮) along with the enshrinement of Emperor Meiji into the same shrine. Today, the 150-year Hokkaido Shrine continues to play a crucial role in the lives of the locals, from New Year celebration to wedding ceremonies. The shrine is also a popular spot for hanami (花見), the spring cherry blossom festival. To start off our second last day of the trip, we spent a peaceful morning at the Hokkaido Shrine in Maruyama Park (円山公園) while most shops and cafes had yet opened for business.
In the shade of magnolias, maple, oak, Japanese Judas, and cherry of Maruyama Park, we arrived at the Torii gate of Hokkaido Shrine (北海道神宮).
2019 marked the beginning of the Reiwa era (令和) and the accession of Emperor Naruhito (徳仁).
Before entering the main shrine complex, we arrived at the first shrine building called Kaitaku Jinja (開拓神社), the pioneer shrine.
We washed our hands at the chozuya (手水舎) before entering the main shrine.
The current Hokkaido Shrine was restored in 1978, after a fire destroyed the earlier structure in 1974.
Inside the main complex, we arrived at the courtyard in front of the main shrine.
Just like many Shinto shrines around Japan, the main shrine of the Hokkaido Shrine is a beautiful timber structure.
We had a quick peek into the main shrine as we left our offering coins and clapped our hands at the entrance veranda.
We also picked up an O-mikuji (御御籤) or sacred fortune slip from a wooden box.
There are a number of racks for visitors to leave behind their undesirable O-mikuji (御御籤), as well as wooden ema (絵馬), or wooden plaques with written wishes.
After the main shrine, we paid respect to the other small shrines before leaving the shrine complex.
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HOKKAIDO ROAD TRIP, Hokkaido (北海道)
Day 2 – Utoro
Day 2.1 SHIRETOKO FIVE LAKES (知床五湖)
Day 2.2 UTORO FISHERMAN’S WIVES CO-OPERATIVE DINER (ウトロ漁協婦人部食堂)
Day 2.3 FUREPE FALLS (フレペの滝)
Day 6 – On the road from Lake Akan to Furano
Day 6.1 FISHERMEN BELOW MISTY OAKAN (雄阿寒岳), Lake Akan (阿寒湖)
Day 6.2 TREATS OF OBIHIRO (帯広), Tokachi (十勝)
Day 6.3 ARRIVING IN FURANO (富良野)
Day 7 Furano & Biei
Day 7.1 LAVENDER BUDS, Nakafurano (中富良野)
Day 7.2 FARM TOMITA (ファーム富田), Nakafurano (中富良野)
Day 7.3 BI.BLE, Biei (美瑛)
Day 7.4 PATCHWORK ROAD & PANORAMA ROAD, Biei (美瑛)
Day 7.5 NINGLE TERRACE (ニングルテラス)
Day 8 – from Furano to Otaru
Day 8.1 CHURCH ON THE WATER (水の教会), Hoshino Resorts Tomamu (星野リゾート トマム)
Day 8.2 HILL OF THE BUDDHA (頭大仏), Makomanai Takino Cemetery (真駒内滝野霊園)
Day 8.3 SEAFOOD, CANAL, & HISTORY, Otaru (小樽)
Day 8.4 RAINY NIGHT IN OTARU, Otaru (小樽)
Day 10 – Sapporo
10.1 OKKAIDO SHRINE (北海道神宮 )
10.2 MORIHICO COFFEE (森彦珈琲本店)
10.3 KITAKARO SAPPORO HONKAN (北菓楼札幌本館)
10.4 SATURDAYS CHOCOLATE
10.5 GOTSUBO OYSTER BAR(五坪)
10.6 MOUNT MOIWA (藻岩山) & RAMEN HARUKA (ラーメン悠)
Day 11 – Sapporo
11.1 FORMER HOKKAIDO GOVERNMENT OFFICE (北海道庁旧本庁舎)
11.2 RED STAR & GENGKIS KHAN, Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール株式会社)