Heading toward Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine from Wakamiya-oji Avenue, a large Maiden appears in front of the Great Stone Steps leading up to the main shrine. Since Shinto shrines often have a Noh stage, one would have thought that the Maiden, which stands in the middle of the approach to the shrine, was also a Noh stage, but this was not the case. Although it stands where Shizuka Gozen is said to have danced, it is not a Noh stage. In the first place, it is said that Shizuka Gozen's dance was done in love with Yoshitsune, so it was probably not a Noh performance. This building is a kind of worship hall located at the bottom of a large stone staircase, also called Shimo-Haiden.
The reason I did not consider this to be a worship hall is that most people pass through this building and head for the main shrine located at the top of the Great Stone Steps. If it is a kind of worship hall, it seems to me that there should be people praying here, but few people do so. According to the official website, shrine events and weddings are held in the worship hall, but fortunately or unfortunately, I never saw this building in use.
On this day, most of the worshippers had passed through the Maiden on their way to the main shrine. Perhaps the Maiden was specially decorated for the New Year's holiday, but on this particular day, there were people in work clothes in the Maiden carrying vermilion-painted wooden planks. Beyond the planks, I caught a glimpse of the Great Stone Steps.
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