Fujisawa

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Station #6:  Fujisawa station was crowded with pilgrims visiting the famous Buddhist temple and the neighboring Shinto shrine.  The imposing buildings of Yugyo Temple (established in 1325) stand on a hillside in the background.  The torii (archway) leads to the Enoshima Benten Shrine, which is dedicated to the Goddess of Business, Love and Music.  Benzaiten was a popular deity with local people and pilgrims.  Enoshima was the center of the Cult of Benzaiten, because the goddess was worshipped as the guardian of the blind.  Three blind men walk through the torii gate.  Benten was said to be able to perform the miracle of giving the blind the ability to be effective masseurs, musicians and acupuncturists.  Benten is also the goddess of the sea and is romantically referred to as the goddess of love, beauty and eloquence.\n\nImage Copyright: Minneapolis Institute of Art Enoshima is a small, rocky island that for over 1,000 years has been the home of many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.  This is the main torii gate at the entrance to the path that winds up and over the island, leading the pilgrim to each special place of worship.  Of course there are also many restaurants and tourist shops to refresh the millions of visitors. We were fortunate to visit the shrines at the same time as a school group and their parents.  Their tour guide was wonderful as he explained the history of the sacred places.  He also taught the children the proper way to honor the kami, sacred spirits, who lived at the shrines.  First clap twice to announce your presence. Then bow deeply to show your respect for the kami.  One little guy really wanted to show his great respect to the honored spirit.