Being new to Japan, we thought all the shrines were so cool and we wanted to see them all! It didn’t take us long to realize that these shrines were literally everywhere throughout Japan and seeing them all is impossible. We also soon realized that visiting the famous, touristy ones was worthwhile, and occasionally checking out the small ones you come across can be neat, but a lot of them are pretty much the same in appearance, although it can be interesting to learn about the different God’s each one is devoted to. When we first arrived, we wanted to see some of Japan’s ancient history so the first tourist thing we did was take the train to Kamakura for the Great Buddha and Hase-dera. One day while Rob was at work, I decided to see what Yokosuka had to offer. Yokosuka doesn’t have anything quite as grand as what Kamakura has to offer, but I was able to map a shrine that was just up the hill from our room. We could almost see it from our balcony, and it’s a historical, free, nearby option.
Suwadai Shrine is located just outside the Honch, up a small hill, on the left side. When you reach the bottom of the high stone walls below the shrine, you have to climb quite the flight of stairs to reach the top. In the Spring, like so many other places, you can find trees full of cherry blossoms. The shrine takes up a small space and you could easily explore it and take everything in within 30 minutes of your arrival, probably less. Once at the top, it’s tranquil and nothing like the bustle of Yokosuka below!
To learn a little more about it, here is a link. It’s obviously translated and I didn’t want to pass along any inaccurate information.
Here are some pictures from our visit.