Mitakesan Dog Shrine

I have a chocolate labrador dog, who is getting a bit on in years these days. She has come with me from Singapore to Hong Kong and now to Japan. She seems to enjoy Japan the most as, I guess, the weather is cooler and more easy on her. The people in Japan seem to really love dogs. Although here a dog is about the size of a cat, and often carried in bags or even pushed around in prams. At 20kg, my dog is a small labrador by any standard, but in Japan she is considered a "large" dog and sometimes the object of some curiosity. Lucky for all concerned she is extremely friendly and simply loves human attention. She is not a fan of dogs. Her name is "Hana" - which means flower (can also mean nose) in Japanese.

We decided it was time to take the 120 kilometers so to Mount Mitake, rising above the Tama River on the very edge of the Tokyo region. It is over 900 metres high and served by a funicular railway that is very impressive indeed. We chose a rather cold day - especially by th eearlys pring standards - and even had snow on top of the mountain.

The Shinto Shrine on top of the mountain is specifically for dogs and caters well to our four-legged friends. Hana was a bit of a celebrety there with visitors and even the folks who ran the railway. It was easy as she was the only dog there due to the weather. I took along my Sigma DP1M and DP2M cameras that are now my most common digital cameras. I include some photos from a previous trip in better weather as well.


Hana watches as my wife gets a blessed token from the shrine for her. The Kanji behind lietrally says "Dog Shrine"


My wife rubs the token from the temple on Hana's head as a way of bringing luck. My wife is not a hunchback - she has a rucksack under the jacket….. :-)


Hot Mochi for sale at the station for the funicular railway. It was very cold….


Prayers for dogs on one side of the shrine.


Sponsors of the shrine.


Prayers taken on a day with much better weather in November 2012 - also on a Sigma DP2 Merrill.


The funicular railway on a day when you could actually see it.


Funicular railway car on a nicer day.

© David Runacres 2014