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Ouji Shrine / Ouji Tokyo

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Ouji Shrine was founded by a warlord in the 14th century.
It is located on top of a hill and is reached on climbing a few stone steps.
Upon climbing the steps, on the left hand side there is a huge 20-meter high gingko tree.
This tree, said to have been planted over 650 years ago, has been designated a natural monument by the Metropolitan Government of Tokyo.
The shrine building is located in the middle of a large well-kept compound.
In contrast to the place and the gingko tree, the Oji Shrine building is relatively new, having been reconstructed after the Second World War.
Ouji Shrin is also known for its Kumade-Ichi , or the Rake Fair , which is held here every December 6.
Kumade is a bamboo ornamental rake, which is decorated with many lucky charms.
During the festival, kumades of various sizes and shapes are displayed and sold.
People buy these rakes to bring them good luck.
As each rake is sold, vendors celebrate with a handclap.

[Oji Jinja no Icho]
This is a giant ginkogo tree, Ginkgo biloba L., standing on a hill of the left bank of the Otonashi river(Syakujii river). Although the top part of the trunk is damaged, the trunk circumference is 5.2 meter , the height is 24.2 meter and it has a natural form.
Asukayamanohi(description on a stone, designated a tangible cultural heritage of Tokyo) in Asukayama park tells the origin of Oji shrine.
According to the description, Toyoshima contributed to found the shrine between 1321 and 1324.
It is not certain but if this Icyou was planted at that time, it would be almost 600 years old.
Due to wars, many things including the shrine building and a big castanopsis tree,(it is believed that Doukan Oota took shelter under it during rain) were destroyed.
However, this ginkgo has survived and stands on the hill as if it calmly watched the transitionof Tokyo.



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