CONTRIBUTED BY STACI HAWLEY
I have one of those final-to-see checklists now that I only have one month left here. There is a spot on my checklist for “I always drive by that sign/ or store- now is the time to check it out’. I often drive by the Futnema shrine on the way to pick up my son, and I happened to have my camera and twenty minutes. So here I paused.
If you don’t get the opportunity to get to mainland Japan to see the shrines, you should check out the Futenma shrine. It’s a spiritual exerience. There are people there at all times of the day. I couldn’t help but wonder what they were thinking about. Probably the same things that people back home are thinking that stop by their local places of worship.
I am always surpringsly moved when I go to a shrine. I’m not sure if it’s the smells, the serenity or just the fact that although I can’t understand any of the words- I get it. It’s just a good place to pause and reflect.
Onward with the details:
Below is a photo of omikuji – which you can purchase at the shrine.
You can also purchase these wooden hanging plaques for 300 yen. They are called ema. From what I could read, they seemed to be peoples prayers and wishes for the upcoming year. I did notice however, lots of hearts.
Upon entering the shrine you will find this water display. The purpose is to clean your hands and the inside of your mouth before entering the shrine. Good thing I flossed.
The “Rope” below hanging on the Torii gate is called a shimenawa. They usually hang this on Torii gates and apparently the best sumo wrestler also wears one during special ceremonies. I wonder if it is in front-or behind of the T-Back?
Address: Japan, 〒901-2202 Okinawa Prefecture, Ginowan, 普天間１丁目２７−１０
GPS Coordinates: 26.2928667, 127.7770667
Directions: The shrine is just south of Camp Foster and Camp Buckner. However, the turn-off will sneak up on you. You can only enter when you are driving in the north lane of Highway 330. There is a middle divider blocking you if you are driving south. When you do turn off, it may not be apparent where you are supposed to pull in. There is a driveway to the right of the Torii Gate as you are looking at it. Drive through there and it will take you to the parking lot. Parking is free.