The tutelary shrine of Okuhida Onsengo dedicated to Emperor Murakami
Murakami Shrine is located across the Gamada River from Tochio Onsen and is the tutelary shrine of Okuhida Onsengo.
Emperor Murakami, the 62nd emperor of Japan, is enshrined as the main deity, who is said to have taken a rest at Fukuji Onsen.
Within the shrine’s grounds stands Banryu-to, a structure associated with Banryu Shonin, a Buddhist priest who enshrined Buddhist statues at Mt. Yari and Mt. Kasa, and founded the temple atop the mountain. The Banryu Festival is held every year on May 10 to honor the great achievements of Banryu Shonin.
The Banryu Festival is held in conjunction with the annual festival of Murakami Shrine. It is an important event to pray for the safety of climbers as well as to announce the arrival of spring and the beginning of the climbing season in this snowy region.
After the Shinto ritual, the traditional performing arts of Henbetori and Tori-gei are performed.
*Henbetori is a lion dance, a local performing art based on a legend that Emperor Murakami when he visited Toji stealthily comforted and then killed poisonous snakes that tormented the villagers with the sound of a beautiful flute when he visited the area for a hot spring cure in the Heian Period (794-1185).
*Tori-gei is a traditional art form in which people wear crowns made from the tail feathers of roosters called shagama and dance in a circle to the sound of gongs and drums. The brave and splendid dance, which is based on the legend of the fallen Heike, is a sight to behold.
Address: 1461 Okuhida-Onsengo Murakami, Takayama-shi, Gifu
Contact: 0578-89-2614 (Okuhida-Onsengo Tourism Association)
Directions: 3-minute walk from Murakami bus stop on the Nohi Bus Hirayu/Shin-Hotaka Line