I took it just before the sunset on February 11th. The picture left on the top is the entranceway of O-toyo Shrine, and right on the top is a mansion with beautiful Japanese garden. The picture left on th bottom is a sacred gardian mouse and right is slope leading to the main shrine.
Famous flowers in O-toyo Shrine are various camellias and especially overhanging centuries old Japanese plum.
I will post overhanging centuries old Japanese plum when it blooms in late February or early March.
It is just between Nyakuoji Shrine and Honen-in. It is 10 minutes' walk from both.
How to spot its entranceway (above the picture) is to find the Japanese style shop first of all named "fumi-maro" in the West along the Philosopher’s walk. O-toyo Shrine entranceway is the opposite side of a shop.
You need to walk up for a couple of minutes to reach their real entrance on the hill. They hang a drawing of mice on a white wooden board at the entrance as the picture left on the top row shows. That drawing also will help you to find the place.
Their sacred animals are quite unique and you won't find anywhere else in Japan, which are two mice
, a monkey, and a kite, and The shrine also worship 400-year-old tree as a god.
The tree is in the bottom of the Shrine on the right side.
It is worth watching because its trunk is about twice as thick as that of Nyakuoji Shrine. It also has a sign as sacred tree with a white cloth around thick trunk. It might be a little hard to find the sacred tree surrounded by other trees without sun light reaching it.
It's not a typical tourist point but has a nice warm, cozy atmosphere truly for local people. That's why it has O-toyo Shrine lovers. We can say that the atmosphere in O-toyo Shrine is what Shrine should have because most of them except shrines like Heian Jingu Shrine
have been originally gathering place for local people all over Japan, not for tourists’ spots.
When going up the slope, have a look at a garden through bamboo fence on your right and you'll see well-maintained Japanese garden almost as beautiful as that of Ginkakuji-temple. Its owner must have a strong affection for Japanese style garden.
And at last here you are the real entrance! Running water you see close to gate on your left is sacred one. I really want you to feel it when it gets warmer. Like other temples and shrines, sacred water will purify you to enter their holy area.