This beautiful Shinto shrine located in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, was founded in 586 during the first year of Emperor Yomei's reign. Later, in the 14th century, the Buddhist colors were added to Haruna Shrine when it became affiliated with Kan'ei-ji in Ueno. However, the Buddhist colors were taken down when the Meiji-era separation of Buddhism and Shintoism occurred.
The shrine itself sits atop Mount Haruna, which is one of the Three Mountains of Jomo. Haruna Shrine has a close relationship with the shrines of the other two mountains' shrines on Mount Akagi and Mount Myogi. Haruna Shrine is dedicated gods of water, fire, and agriculture. It's said that the shrine gives blessings of business prosperity, good marriage, and luck in examinations. In recent years, it has become a famous power spot and draws many tourists.
The shrine is rather large, covering 15 hectares of extensive grounds. It also has a 700-meter approach to the inner precincts from the main entrance area. Many festivals and rituals take place on the grounds annually. The most popular times to visit are during the New Year's Prayer Festival from January 1st to 3rd; the October 9th Autumn Festival when the trees are colored in brilliant reds and oranges; and Tengu Festival on December 31st, where you'll be blessed with luck if you manage to catch mochi being thrown by priests.
The worship hall of Haruna Shrine has been declared nationally designated important cultural property. It was reconstructed in 1806 and the roof is noted for its gables and copper plating. Surrounded by the mountainous features and trees, Haruna Shrine is a great place to soak up some peace of mind and reflect on your spirituality.
A 50-minute bus ride from JR Takasaki Station.