The Okamoto Otaki Shrine, the only shrine in Japan to dedicate the paper goddess.

▲Photo by This is Fukui

The Okamoto Otaki Shrine is the only shrine in Japan to dedicate the paper goddess, and the legend goes back to about 1500 years ago that a beautiful woman appeared at the upper river of Okamoto and said to the villagers: “This village has few fields and it is hard to live, but you are blessed to have abundant clean water for paper-making here.” Those who had learned paper-making technique from the woman built the Okamoto shrine and mythologized her as Kawakami Gozen.

▲The main hall with a distinctive roof shape. Photo by This is Fukui
▲There are a lot of tall trees in the shrine grounds, and the atmosphere changes with the sunbeams through the trees. Photo by This is Fukui
▲Photo by This is Fukui

On the other hand, the Otaki Shrine was built as a Shinto shrine that worships Kawakami Gozen as a guardian god by Taicho, who visited this area in 719 when is the time of Emperor Suiko. The main shrine and front shrine of both shrines have the complex roof shapes. The shrines were designated as National Important Cultural Property in 1984 as a building representing the late Edo period. In addition, the sculptures of lion, dragon, phoenix, and flower that are carved to the whole building are also refined and excellent works. While the precincts having this building is called lower shrine, the mountain behind, which itself was the object of worship, has Otaki Shrine Okunoin and Okamoto Shrine main hallis near the summit and is called upper shrine.

▲Photo by This is Fukui

The paper of this place with a long history on Echizen Washi became known as Echizen Washi.It is mainly made of kozo, hemp and mitsumata, and is strongly thin and resistant to water. The paper had been walking with the history of the Japanese notes starting from the bank notes and clan notes that were only available in the territory because it was suitable for printing by improving technology and superior in forgery prevention. In 1661, the first clan note in Japan was issued in the Fukui Clan, and the paper for the currency was made at this place. The first ever national paper currency, Dajokan satsu, issued by the Meiji government in 1868 also used Echizen Washi.

▲On the way to the shrine, the old townscape remains. Photo by This is Fukui
▲Photo by This is Fukui

 

INFORMATION[Address]
23-10, Otaki-cho, Echizen-shi, Fukui

[Access]
Take a Fuku Tetsu bus’ Nanetsu line from JR Takefu train station and get off at Washi-no-sato bus stop. Then walk about 10 minutes.
You can check the bus time table here but only in Japanese.

[Web site]
http://welcome-echizenshi.jp/tourism_detail/okamoto-ootaki/ (only in Japanese)

 

NOTEThis article was written based on the information when it was published. Since there is a possibility that it differs from the content at the time of posting, be sure to check information by yourself in advance.

 

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