There are two ways to get to the shrine of Orihime Shrine, which is built halfway up the mountain. The first way is Otoko-zaka which is to go through the first torii gate and climb up more than 200 steep stone steps. And the second way is Onna-zaka, it is longer than the Otoko-zaka slope, but the slope is gentler.
Many shrines and temples that have steep stairs on the approach to the shrine have two paths: the shortest way up the stone stairs, and the gentler path, though not the shortest. Such is the case with Orihime Shrine in Ashikaga.
Interestingly, when there are two paths, the steeper path is always called Otoko-zaka and the gentler path is called Onna-zaka. Even though men are generally stronger than women, in this day and age, if the name of the slope is determined by the gender image, I feel uneasy that someone somewhere might have a problem with it. And I'm afraid that the many Otoko-zaka slopes and Onna-zaka slopes across the country will be given mundane names like "steep slope" and "not so steep slope".
I climbed up the Otoko-zaka on my way there, but decided to take the Onna-zaka on my way back. There are seven colored torii gates representing the seven divine virtues on the slope. The slope was certainly gentler than the Otoko-zaka slope. However, unlike the Otoko-zaka slope, the ground is not paved, and it looks like a mountain path, so I'm not sure which is easier to climb.
|Oct 2021 ARCHITECTURE TOCHIGI|
|ASHIKAGA BLUE RED SHRINE TORII|
October 14, 2021
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF