Ōagata-jinja

Shinto Shrine in Inuyama

This ancient shrine on a lovely hillside is dedicated to female Shintō deity Izanami and attracts women seeking marriage or fertility. See if you can find the large hime-ishi (姫石; princess stone) and other items resembling giant female genitals. The popular Hime-no-miya Matsuri takes place here on the Sunday before 15 March (or on 15 March if it's a Sunday). Locals pray for good harvests and prosperity by parading through the streets bearing a mikoshi (portable shrine) with more replica vaginas.

Ōagata-jinja is a 25-minute walk from Gakuden Station (¥230 from Inuyama, seven minutes). To reach the shrine, turn right at the exit and follow Rte 177 east, all the way across the river and up the hill. Sadly, recent expansion of a nearby industrial landfill threatens the tranquillity of the shrine. Beware the many noisy, smelly dump trucks sharing the narrow road to your destination.

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