“When you come to Ashikaga, put a mark on the vermilion Orihime Shrine, Karariko-ton-ton, Karariko-ton, Ashikaga is as beautiful a city as a picture, a textile city.” The Orihime Shrine appeared in the Ashikaga Ondo(chorus) like this. Orihime Shrine is Weaving Goddess of Ashikaga. The present shrine was re-built through the funding of the textile union in 1937. It was the prime time for the textile industry in Ashikaga.
Here, the guardians of the textile city, Ashikaga, famous for its 1,300 year old history and tradition, are buried. This shrine was built in 1879, but the next year it was destroyed by fire. In 1934, this shrine began to be re-built using reinforced-concrete, which was rare at the time. It took 3 years to complete and in 1937, the present shrine was completed.
The vermilion lacquered shrine is beautiful with its green color and has good scenery. This area is also the departure and arrival point for the Ashikaga Prefectural Nature Preserve hiking course.
Orihime Park was opened on a 26.3A plot of land in 1976. The view from Kagami-iwa Hiroba(Mirror Rock Park), in the northern end of this park, is wonderful and enables us to see the Kanto plains, Ashikaga City and the clear stream of the Watarase River. A special feature of this park is that cherry trees, maple trees(1,000 trees)and azaleas are planted based on the nature flora on the mountain area of 197~525ft. above sea level.
In the park, there are four remarkable spots that have big Wisteria trellises. Besides these you can enjoy Wisterias and Kurume azeleas that are over sixty years old. There are also Hydrangeas and a heavy growth of Irises. In the summer you can see a heavy growth of Nelumbo nucifera.
Orihime Shrine and Orihime Park 3889 Nishinomiyacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture 326-0817, Japan Tel: +81 284-22-0313 (Orihime Shrine) ACCESS: 1.4mil. from JR Ashikaga Station and Tobu Ashikagashi Station 10min by car, 30min walk City bus(Yamanami, Seseragi) get off at Tori 5-chome and 15min walk PARKING LOT: 2 places in Orihime Park enough for 50cars (Vehicles with wheelbases over 36ft. or heights over 12.5ft. cannot park here.)
Contact: Watarase River Office (Watarase Green Plaza)