Homi Shrine is located in the largely abandoned village of Takao, Minami Alps City, Yamanashi. Although I would not consider this shrine to be a must see, I did return for a second trip so my children could play with a local sculptor’s pet goat, Hokuto.
The sculptor, Mr. Nakatsuji, lovingly maintains the grounds surrounding a collection of local roadside hokora (miniature stone shrines) that are said to house minor deities. I just had to snap some pictures.
Nakatsuji-san then gave us a full tour of Homi Shrine. Although he was not born in the area, he appears to be the self-appointed local authority on the shrine. My favourite structure at the shrine has to be the well-maintained torii gate. I couldn’t stop admiring the gate from the entrance of Nakatsuji-san’s Edo-era house.
Nakatsuji-san explained that the gate and shrine were once surrounded by rice paddies, but the local farmers abandoned their fields years ago to live in more convenient locations at the foot of the mountain. I can’t help wishing that they would come back.