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“Shrine full of all Kinds of Dolls”
Review of Awashima Shrine

Awashima Shrine
Reviewed 27 January 2013

This shrine is somewhat out of the way. You need to take a 25min train ride from Wakayama-shi Station to Kada Station (last on the line). It's an oceanside town, and also where you would take the ferry to Tomogashima Island. The location is really nice as it's along the ocean, but windy, so I'd recommend dressing warmly in the winter.

It's a little ways walk to get to the actual shrine, but quite an interesting walk as it goes through the neighbourhoods. The short path to the shrine has street vendors and souvenir stores. The shrine is for women, for safe child-birth from what I've heard. It is full of different dolls: human, tanuki, frogs, foxes, etc. It's free and definitely worth a look at the sheer number of dolls. In March, there is a festival ritual called Hina-nagashi where dolls are released into the ocean.
While we were there, there was a Shinto ceremony going on inside the shrine. Next to the shrine is an area to buy wishes/good luck charms, like all the rest.

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