Apparently one of the more popular shrines on the Kamakura tourist map, Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine (銭洗弁財天宇賀福神社) is in a rather unique location - it is nestled deep in a mountain completely surrounded by rocks, so it is totally invisible from the outside. The only way to reach it till the mid 20th century is via a rather steep hiking trail, but they have now cut a tunnel through the solid rock and placed a torii gate outside:
History of the shrine:
Inside, the main attraction seems to be the practice of washing one's money (coins, preferably) in the waters of a stream inside a cave. Here is the entrace to the cave:
But before that, we had to purify our hands in the water house:
Inside the cave, they have helpfully provided facilities for washing coins:
There's also some interesting cloth decorations:
This shrine is a curious mixture of Shinto and Buddhism - even the object of worship, a stone snake with a human head, is a merger of Ugafukujin (the god of waters) and Benzaiten (the Buddhist goddess Saraswati).
The various buildings here are all tiny, and built at different levels due to the uneven terrain:
For some reasons, statues of lion-like creatures are quite prominent here:
The spring running out of the cave into a pond full of koi carp:
This seems to be a popular place to take photos:
More stone sculptures:
More good wishes notice boards and fortune hangers:
Interesting bamboo partition:
Outside the shrine we encountered a very small farm next to some houses:
On our way back from the shrine, we met a woman walking an Akita dog. Since this is the first time I have seen an Akita, I asked the woman if I could pat her dog, and she said yes. I think the dog's name is "Ged", or or is "Gan"?