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Thursday, 18th September 2014
In General Japan News,

Kamakura shrine walkway to get restoration

For hundreds of years, pilgrims have trekked along a walkway to witness the famed Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura Now, these pilgrims are more likely to be tourists, and they've only increased in number over the years - so much so that it has been remarked many a time that the shrine's walkway requires a bit of a facelift.

This is exactly what is set to happen, with the stone-lined Dankazura walkway set to undergo its first renovation in more than 800 years over the next couple of years.

The beginning of October will see the venerable Wakamiya Oji street partially closed off as work begins. It is expected that the restoration will cost somewhere close to 580 million yen, but the local government promises that the benefits will far outweigh the costs as people will be able to use the renewed road for many years to come.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu's walkway is particularly famous throughout Japanese folklore, having been commissioned in 1182 by its founder Minamoto no Yoritomo, who wanted the raised pathway so that he could guarantee safe delivery of his pregnant wife.

Named the Dankazura, it is raised just one step higher than standard roads and was designated a national historic site in 1967. Nowadays, thousands of tourists travel along it every day, resulting in natural wear and tear to the venerable stones.

Broken stones will be replaced and the 248 cherry trees that line the pathway will be replanted as part of the rennovation.

The Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine is a particularly popular site to visit, attracting more than ten million visitors a year due to its proximity to Tokyo. Other attractions include the city of Kamakura itself, which was the political centre of Japan, along with Nara and Kyoto.

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