If you are looking for a Shinto Shrine at Nakanojo village, Haruna Shrine is right there. Surrounded by three mountains Jomo, Akagi and Myogi, Haruna shrine is located in Takasaki of Gunma prefecture. It is believed that the shrine is dedicated to the God or water, agriculture and fire.
Rewind the history of Haruna Shrine
Haruna Shrine was found during the period of Emperor Yomei in 586. Later on, this shrine was incorporated with Kanei ji in Ueno during 14th century. When the Buddhism and Shinto religion has been separated, Haruna shrine has been preserved as a temple of Shinto in Meiji period.
The Haruna shrine has been saved from destruction. Since it is from the ancient period, a lot of the places faced decay. To preserve the shrine, this shrine has been rebuilt. There is a welcoming gate stretched from Takasaki to Lake Haruna.
Winter Attribute of Haruna Shrine
During winter, it snows everywhere of the shrine. The whole shrine covers with white snow. Be careful the premise and the highways remain slippery during this weather. It is recommended to wear snow shoes and umbrella while visiting the shrine. Sometimes, hiking is arranged in Takasaki. This town is around 7 km below the main hall of the shrine. People also climb the mountain with bicycle.
The Prayer Festival
Most of the people come here to worship.
Different types of festivals are organized and performed in this shrine. If you are lucky enough, you might get to participate in any of those. One of the important festivals performed in this shrine is the Prayer Festival. During this festival, every sculpture and interior of this shrine is ornamented in different theme and color. The prayer festival is usually organized in winter. However, if the weather is freezing, the festival is rescheduled.
Autumn beauty of Haruna Shrine
During autumn season, this shrine transforms into a bright beautiful temple in colorful atmosphere. At the entrance gate of the shrine, you will get to see blooming cherry blossoms. The Shuanglong gate also gets covered with red leaves. Get along in the pink surrounding near the Torii of Haruna Shrine at Kamuroda town. A wide variety of blooming flower can be seen in this season. Blooming Torikabuto flowers can be seen attracting the bees. Other flowers such as Sayuri, plum, Rhododendron and Japanese Azalea also bloom in this season.
During autumn, the Shikisemoto festival is organized every year for welcoming the season.
At the beginning of the autumn, it may be bright and sunny. However, don’t forget to bring your winter clothes. As the shrine is 800 meters above the ground level, it is a bit colder in here.
A new Torii has been created at the Haruna Shrine. The Ichi Tori is constructed in Kamuroda town which is 9 km away from the main shrine. The Tori was constructed in 1954. As the time passed, the tori faced decay. As to preserve the tori, it was rebuilt.
During autumn, the Kaede brings a new look to the Shingin gate and the premise.
Festivals and concert
Keep your eyes on the website of Haruna Shrine. Different types of festivals are organized at different times of the year. Music festivals are organized at Kagura Den. It is a significant festival of Shakuhachi. Other festivals like Mikaku Music and Kagura performances are also held at the shrine premise.
In order to hope for the bright future of the children, children’s day has been celebrated at this shrine. The children’s day is celebrated with Danni festival and kagura performance.
There are several significant sightseeing spots located near the Haruna Shrine. While your visit at Haruna shrine, you can also explore the Shinki Shrine. Other attractions are Nozori lake, Shima Onsen, okushima lake, Nozori Dam etc.
How to get there
In order to reach to Haruna shrine, you need to get on the Gunma Bus from 2nd platform of west entrance. The bus travels an hour or so and reach at Harunako. Be aware to get off from bus at Haruna-jinja.
Haruna shrine is one of the Shinto Shrine existing in Japan. Every year a large number of visitors come to this place for worshiping. The best time to enjoy festivals and the surrounding is autumn. It is a great place to enjoy the ancient shrine where the place is surrounded by mountains, different types of trees and cherry blossom. During winter the shrine premise covers in white where as the autumn turns into red with cool breeze. It is amazing to see the beautiful shrine in autumn color under the blue sky. While you travel through the highways during winter or spring, be careful with the road. It might get slippery due to the snow. It is believed that the Haruna shrine brings prosper in business and marriage. Come and pray for your well being in life, business and wedding at the beautiful Haruna Shrine.