(Kyoto-93/Nara Trip 2)日本美味しいもの巡り Japan delicious food and wine tour

(奈良2:春日大社辺り)

東大寺・二月堂から若草山を通り、世界遺産春日大社」へ散歩。その歴史は古く、平城京の守護と国民の繁栄を祈願し768年に創建。全国に3000社ある春日神社の総本社。

常陸国から御蓋山(みかさやま)へ神様が来られる際に白鹿にお乗りになったとされ、春日神社の鹿は神様のお使いとされている。

(Nara Trip 2: around Kasuga Taisha Shrine)

From Nigatsudo Hall of Todaiji Temple, walked through Mt. Wakakusa to Kasuga Taisha Shrine, a World Heritage Site.  Kasuga Taisha Shrine has a long history and was built in 768 to pray for the protection of Heijo-kyo and the prosperity of the people.  It is the headquarters of the 3,000 Kasuga Shrines in Japan.
It is said that when the god came to Mikasa Mountain from Hitachi Province, he rode on a white deer, then deers at Kasuga Shrine were regarded the messengers of the gods.

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大社は四方をぐるりと回廊に囲まれ、御本殿や主要な建造物が回廊内にある。この日朝から新嘗祭が行われ、午後から特別拝観が開始されたので回廊の中へ。

The shrine was surrounded by corridors on all sides, and the main shrine and other major buildings were located inside the corridors.  On this day, the Shinnamesai Festival was held in the morning so the viewing inside the corridor started in the afternoon.

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鮮やかな朱塗の回廊に、多くの灯籠が釣られている様は美しい。約2000基の石燈籠、約1000基の釣燈籠、合わせて約3000基の燈籠が奉納されているという。

It was beautiful to see so many lanterns hanging in the vivid vermilion-lacquered shrine corridors.  It is said that about 3,000 lanterns, including 2,000 stone lanterns and 1,000 hanging lanterns, were dedicated to the shrine.

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回廊から御本殿を望む。御本殿にある四つのご神殿には春日4祭神が鎮座。まず常陸国鹿島神宮から鹿島神・武甕槌命(たけみかづちのみこと)が招かれ、藤原氏の血を引く女帝・称徳天皇の勅命で左大臣藤原永手が現在の場所に神殿を創建。その際、香取神・津主命(ふつぬしのみこと)、枚岡神社天児屋根命(あめのこやねのみこと)と比売神(ひめがみ)、合計四柱を併祀したという。

平安時代に栄華を極めた藤原氏一族の「氏神」として興福寺と共に栄え、時代を経て今に至る。

View of the main shrine from the corridor.  Four Kasuga deities were enshrined in the four halls of the main shrine.  First, Takemikazuchi-no-mikodo, the deity of Kashima from the Kashima Jingu Shrine in Hitachi Province, was invited, then Nagate Fujiwara, the Minister, built the shrine at the present location by order of Emperor Shotoku, an emperor of the Fujiwara clan.  Three other gods were enshrined together: Futsunushi-no-Mikoto or Katori-no-Mikoto, Ame-no-Koyane-no-Mikoto from Hiraoka Shrine, and Hime-gami.
In the Heian period, the Fujiwara clan flourished together with Kofukuji Temple as the "family god" of the Fujiwara clan.

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中が真っ暗な藤浪之屋に入ると、節分(2月)と中元(8月)の時期に行われる神事「万燈籠(まんとうろう)」を再現した幽玄な世界が年中楽しめる。年2回の万燈籠では3000基全ての燈籠に火が灯され幻想的らしい。

Entered the darkened Fujinomiya and enjoyed the mysterious world of Manto-ro, a ritual held during the Setsubun (February) and Chugen (August) seasons.  Twice a year, all 3,000 lanterns were lit in the Manto-Ro event, which is said to be fantastic.

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午後は奈良町を散策。遅めの昼食を「平宗(ひらそう)」で。奈良の郷土料理柿の葉寿司の老舗。ここが本店。

In the afternoon, strolled around Naramachi.  Had a late lunch at Hiraso.  Hiraso was a long-established restaurant serving Nara's local cuisine, Kakinoha Sushi.  This was their main restaurant.

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定番、柿の葉寿司のセット。

A set of Kakinoha Sushi.
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煮麺と天ぷらのセット。久々の柿の葉寿司は大変美味しかった。

A set of boiled somen noodles and tempura.  It's been a while since had Kakinoha Sushi, and it was very tasty.
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少し歩くと「ブルーノート」という名のジャズカフェ。最近奈良町には多くのカフェができてきた。

A short walk away was a jazz café called "Blue Note".  Recently, many cafes have opened in Naramachi.
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さらに歩くと漢方薬店や蚊帳の老舗。

Walking further, found a Chinese herbal medicine store and an old mosquito net shop.
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奈良町はかつて「元興寺」の広大な境内だったところ。日本最古の寺院・法興寺を起源とする寺院で、奈良町の至る所に遺跡がある。本堂付近は現在、奈良町資料館になっている。

Naramachi used to be the vast precincts of "Gankoji Temple".  The temple originated from the oldest temple in Japan, Hokoji, and there were ruins all over Naramachi.  The area near the old main hall was the Naramachi Museum.
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奈良町の庚申堂には「庚申さん」とよばれる青面(しょうめん)金剛像が祀られる。猿が使いとされ、奈良町では、魔除けとして、赤い身代わり申(さる)が多くぶら下がっている。背中に願い事を書いてつるすと願いが叶う「願い猿」とも。

A statue of Shomen Kongo, called "Koshin-san", was enshrined in the Koshindo (shrine) in Naramachi.  Monkeys were believed as messengers, and in Naramachi, many red monkeys were hung to ward off evil.  The monkeys were also called "wishing monkeys" because if write wishes on their back and hang them up, the wishes would come true.
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(奈良3に続く)

(Continue to Nara Trip 3)

 

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