Ashigara Castle Ruins (足柄城) to Ashigara Manyou Park (足柄万葉公園)

Press on, turn left, and head to Ashigara Manyou park(足柄万葉公園), which has many momiji trees in autumn. Before heading to the gardens, you’ll see Seitendo shrine (聖天堂)with a statue of the mascot of Oyama Town, Kintaro, riding on a bear. The best seasons to see this shrine, I think, are autumn when it is framed by trees topped with red leaves or in winter when it is white and snowy. There is a drinks vending machine and a public bathroom near the shrine. There is also a tea shop and café next to the shrine, but I have never seen it opened for business.

Axe-wielding bear-riding boy god of Ashigara

Axe-wielding bear-riding boy god of Ashigara

IMG_9219

Manyoukoen is a pleasant garden to amble around, with conveniently situated gazebos overlooking Kanagawa. If you believed in Chinese geomancy, this spot has really good fengshui because it is sandwiched between a mountain (Fuji) and water (ocean).

Standing between a mountain...

Standing between a mountain…

...and the sea.

…and the sea.

Beyond Manyoukoen is the border between Shizuoka and Kanagawa prefectures. This is the easternmost point of Shizuoka prefecture. There is another little shrine tucked away beyond the sign that divides Shizuoka and Kanagawa prefectures. Near the border, on the Kanagawa side, is a small shrine with an interesting straw hoop threshold. The shrine is there for devotees or passersby to pray for good luck. Walk through the straw hoop for good health.

 

Go through the hoop to pray for good health

Go through the hoop to pray for good health

Instructions

Instructions

You are now leaving Shizuoka Prefecture

You are now leaving Shizuoka Prefecture

From Manyokoen, you can could continue walking toward Kanagawa prefecture.

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