Funakoshi Natagiri Shrine (船越鉈切り神社） in Tateyama, Boso
I went to Funakoshi Natagiri Shrine on October 23. I happened to know this shrine in Tateyama on TV program 'Bura Tamori' that was aired several months ago. Since then I've been very curious about what 'a shrine in a cave' is like.
At the entrance you see a pair of stone lanterns that used to be lit all night. They were built in 1812.
On the way to the shrine you see a mysterious stone which is half split. According to a myth, the Deity tried chopping the stone down right after sharpening the sword before killing a giant snake that had long scared the villagers.
You see the two small caves that were used as a tomb called YAGURA. It is said that they were tombs of a well-off couple. Between the Kamakura Era (1185～1333）and the Muromachi Era (1338～1573) a lot of tombs of samurai were built in Kamakura and the Boso Peninsula.
This is a hall of worship (拝殿). You worship in front of this hall.
When the hall was constructed in 1956(Showa 31), an excavation was conducted. They unearthed potteries, bones of animals and more than 50 kinds of fish, fishing tools such as sinkers for fishing nets, and stabbers that were supposed to be remains dating back 15000 to 5000 years or Jomon Era（縄文時代).
After worshiping the Deity, I went behind the hall of worship. I thought how little and cute the main hall was. The Diety Toyotamahimeno Mikoto (豊玉姫の命) is enshrined in the main hall. And I felt the solemn atmosphere filling the cave.
The cave is 4.19m high at the entrance, up to 5.85m wide, and 36.8m long and located on 25m above sea level. About 15000 years ago(縄文時代) the seawater surface rose as global warming was taking place, which contributed to eroding the cliff. After the seawater surface went down, people began to dwell in the cave.
People used to adore both Funakoshi Natagiri Shrine (at Hamada)and Kainan Natagiri Shrine (at Kenbutsu) as one shrine.