The very first one – Aso Shrine – which is a very popular shrine in Aso.  It is located in a relative close place to the city than Kokuzo Shrine, so many people go visit there.  This shrine was established in B.C. 281, so basically it has more than 2500 years history.  Thus, it not only is appointed by the government to be the must see scenery but also connect to many local festivals and events.


As we walk into the Shrine, the guider introduce how to wash our hand before visit the god.  First use your right hand to take the ladle with water, pour the water and wash your left hand, then, use your left hand to do the same thing.  After doing so, use the water to gargle and split it to the gutter.  Finally, keep the ladle upright to let the water flow to the land naturally until no water in the ladle.  This action shows the respect to the god and keep ourselves clean to visit the god.


Then, we pass through the small gate to get into the main shrine.  There are three main shrine in Aso shrine, the first shrine is for male gods and its  decoration is a dragon; the second shrine is for female gods and its decoration is a flower; the last one is for both of them and its decoration is grapes.  What is special in Aso Shrine is that the approach to Aso Shrine is different from the normal one.  Normally, the approach is straight to the Shrine, but for Aso Shrine it is sideway which stands for the welcome the deity of the volcano.

Few years before, there was a big earthquake which not only damaged Aso seriously, but also destroyed part of Aso Shrine.  What is miracle and makes a mystery is that though Aso Shrine was damaged seriously and even some of the building is broken down, houses in the neighborhood did not hurt much.  Therefore, there came a mystery that the gods in the Aso Shrine absorbed the punishment and sacrifice for people.  Thus, people respect the god more than before.


According to what the guide said, the government of Aso will pay for rebuilding the main gate of the shrine.  What is interesting is that if you donate more than 10,000 Japanese yen, you can get a card of city owner with your name on it.  This donation activity has already attracted a lot of money to rebuild of the Shrine as it was before.  I think if Taiwanese government can make good use of our own civil property, we can be better than ever.  Before we leave Aso Shrine, we take a fortune slip for memory.  I get one for relationship, and my friend get 3 for looking out how good it will be in days to come.


Then, the guide takes us to the `Mizuki Stroll,` where is the main street for the Aso Shrine.  We walk along the street, and I was attracted by a stationery store which looks very hipster and high quality.  I can`t control but go into the store, and buying some hair accessories with kumamoto bear on it witch is so cute that I can’t stop myself from having it.


After that, we go to visit another Shrine – Kokuzo Shrine – which is a little far from the downtown.  It is located on the mountain, its symbol is the huge tree – the Teno giant cedar.  Although the tree is blew down by a typhoon in 1991, local people preserved it and showed its preserved roots in the shrine to let others know how huge it is.  This giant cedar means more than religion, it’s kind of belief and its spirit is still being respect without doubt.  I have to say that while in front of the Teno giant cedar, I was thinking that how small human are and how fragile the life is.  This tree had been grown for more than 2,000 years, but just because of typhoon, it fell down.  That how will our life become?  That would be a question to find out.