The tourist spot that I will introduce is Unume-jinja shrine in Nara. I will also introduce the Uneme-matsuri festival that will be held there.
[ Unume-jinjya shrine ]
There is a small shrine named Unume-jinjya Shrine near Sarusawa-ike Pond.
This shrine is a little different from other shrines.
What do you think.
We usually can not enter the shrine because the entrance is closed.
Let's take a peek inside from the lattice gaps.
We can see the shrine building.
And the torii gate is behind it.
What the torii gate that should be in front of the building is behind!
[ Legend of the Unume ]
It was about the era of about 1300 years ago.
There were women who take care of the Emperor's meal called unume.
There was a beautiful girl in them.
She loved so much the Emperor.
And the Emperor really loved her,too.
But, from the time the Emperor 's love has cooled down.
She felt sad and unhappy about that.
She went into the Sarusawa pond and killed herself.
And her clothes were hung on a willow near the pond.
The Emperor who knew that pityed her and made a shrine near the pond.
That is the Unume-jinjya shrine.
But her spirit thought it was sad that the building faced her suicide pond and turned the building backwards overnight.
[ Uneme-matsuri festival ]
Uneme-matsuri festival is held every year on August 15th of the lunar calendar.
This has been done about 500 years ago.
Yesterday was the festival day.
"From around 5 p.m., a row of flower fan decorated with autumn seven flowers and dozens of childen walked around the city."
They arrived at a shrine near Sarusawa-ike Pond at around 6 pm.
Then a ritual was held for the spirit of the unume in front of the shrine building.
At around 7 pm the area around the pond is prety dark.
Two boats with dragon's heads were connected to the harbor.
There are some people approaching by the boats.
The flower fan was placed in one boat, and beautiful ladies of the Miss Nara got on.
People who played Gagaku got on the other boat.
After a while, the boat began to move quietly above the pond.
Gagaku(ancient court music) is playing.
Lanterns floate above the pond, and the boat pass by them.
After going around 2 laps, returning to the harbor, they left only the flower fan and all got down.
The boat was organized so that a ritual was held.
When priests and the ladies got in, the boat began to move to the center of the pond.
Eventually, the boat arrived in the center and stopped.
The priests prayed.
The flower fan is lifted quietly.
And it was quietly placed on the pond.
The flower fan sunk into the pond.
[ Approximate Latitude and Longitude of tourist spots etc.]
On Google Maps, you can examine the location by latitude and longitude.
The following latitudes and longitudes are not officially announced, they are what I examined.
So they may be wrong.
(1)Unume-jinjya shrine: N34.68189 E135.83022
(October 5, 2017)