Ako-jinja Shrine (赤穂神社)

Ako-jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Nara City, Nara Prefecture. It is a shikinaisha (one of the shrines listed in the Engishiki Jinmyocho register of shrines).

It is listed in the "Engishiki," and the name ''Ako Myojin'' also appears in the "Jinmyocho" which is read aloud at Omizutori (Water-Drawing-Ceremony) of Nigatsu-do (the Hall of the Second Month).

According to Nihonshoki (The Chronicles of Japan), Tochi-no-Hime-Miko was buried on April 14 in 678, and Hikami-no-O-Toji in 682 in ''Ako'' district, which is considered very likely to be this area.

Enshrined Deities

The main enshrined deity is Ame-no-Koyane-no-Mikoto, and another shrine enshrining Tenmangu and Benzaiten stands beside the main shrine..

There is also an oral tradition that it ''enshrines a noble princess,'' and is therefore believed to provide miraculous protection to women.

History

This district used to be called ''Sakurada'' (cherry blossom field), noted for its cherry blossoms, and it is said the shrine once held a territory of several hundred square meters.

It fell into ruin following the Meiji Restoration, and it is said that most of the nearly 200 families and priests departed, leaving behind nothing but mud walls, Tatsuo HORI and other writers expressed sorrows in their literary works. The shrine was restored by local volunteers saddened by the situation, and they merged Tenmangu Shrine with Benzaiten Shrine and placed it to the left of Ako-jinja Shrine to bring the two shrines together on the same site.

Since 1930, it has existed as a detached shrine of Nanto Kagami-jinja Shrine, which is located near Yakushi-ji Temple.

Access

From Kintetsu Nara Station, take a ''Central Circular'' Nara Kotsu bus, get off at ''Wariishi-cho,'' and walk eastward for 5 minutes.

From JR Nara station, take a ''City Circular'' bus or a ''Central Circular'' Nara Kotsu bus, get off at ''Wariishi-cho,'' and walk eastward for 5 minutes.