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Haruna Shrine

Haruna Shrine is a mountain sanctuary hidden behind mountains which has been an important spiritual destination since the 6th century.

It’s thought that this shrine dates back a full 1400 years, and since then it’s had quite a history. Its impressive grounds are quite vast, with a 700 meter walk from the entrance to the main buildings. As with everywhere in Gunma, this means you’ll need to work for your culture fix with a fair bit of uphill walking — around 20 minutes, to be precise.

Once there however, you’ll be greeted with a beautiful shrine, and the chance to pray for blessings from the resident gods. The particular residents of this shrine are said to give blessings for good grain harvests, happy marriages, and business success. Although you’re probably not particularly worried about your grain harvest this year, the other two might be very useful.

The pathway up to the main building is a sight in itself, running between dramatic rock faces which rise up in sheer cliffs as a backdrop for the pagodas and pavilions. Whether you’re coming for the blessings, or just for some fantastic photos, you won’t be disappointed.

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