Something you may find surprising when looking at Tomonoura’s sightseeing map, is just how many shrines and temples there are. 19 temples and dozens of shrines are dotted around this small town. No wonder people often exclaim that “You’d probably walk into one if you weren’t looking where you were going.” This, of course, makes Tomonoura the perfect destination for shrine and temple enthusiasts, as it is a rare opportunity to see so many in such a small district.
If you walk towards the north of the town, you will soon discover that this is the area with the most temples. The path to Nunakuma shrine is lined by Ankoku-ji Temple, Shobo-ji Temple, Jitoku-in, Kensho-ji Temple and Myoren-ji Temple. This townscape, as well as the construction of Teramachi street (temple street), was designed by Masanori Fukushima, the founder of Tomo Castle in the early Edo Period. The temples acted as a defense to protect the castle, creating a kind of fort around it. To prevent Tomo Castle from foreign enemies, he decided to have most of these temples on the northern side of the castle.
Tomonoura boasts seasonal events (matsuri) such as the Otebi c Ritual at Nunakuma Shrine as well as Fuigo (Tatara) Matsuri at Kogarasu Shrine. Moreover, some of the temples offer visitors traditional experiences such as Zazen meditation and Sutras calligraphy. Why don’t you take the time to relax through meditation in the traditional Japanese way?
Address/ Around Tomo-cho, Fukuyama-shi, Hiroshima