Awashima Shrine | Kada, Wakayama 加太和歌山県

Awashima shrine is right next to the edge of the sea in the small port town of Kada in Wakayama prefecture. A short precarious walk down narrow streets lined with shuttered summer houses, will bring you to the large traditional Shinto torii gate that marks the entrance.

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This shrine serves as a sort of dumping ground for dolls. It is believed that dolls have a spirit and it is a tradition or superstition to just throw them out in the trash. The dolls and idols here are ritually burned or disposed of in the nearby sea. 

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There is a somewhat ominous feeling walking into this shrine and standing in front of aligned figurines with them all staring at you. 

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Even these old Noh masks are disposed of very respectfully, maybe their makers left some of their heart and soul when they hand carved each one. 

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Manekineko are placed here.

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Hotei chilling out after a lifetime of bringing fortune, and good luck.

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Tengu mask

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These phallic symbols are fertility charms. 

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Creepy Japanese dolls. 

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Daruma, lined up after their former owners painted the white eye after wishes came true. 

 

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