You don’t have to be a motorcycle enthusiast to visit here, but it helps
There are tens of thousands of Shinto shrines all over Japan and they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They also have a plethora of individual themes that visitors may want to visit for highly specific prayers such as scoring primo idol tickets or breaking up with a significant other.
For example, did you know that there are 17 motorcycles shrines that have been sanctioned by the Japan Motorcycle Association? Our reporter Mr. Sato sure didn’t and decided to check one out when he learned of them…which is strange because he’s never ridden a motorcycle in his life.
In fact, Mr. Sato is what’s known as a “paper driver” in Japan, which refers to a person who though licensed almost never gets behind a wheel. The irony in this is that even though paper drivers have almost no experience or confidence driving, they end up with pristine records and gold-class licenses identifying them as model drivers.
And so, Mr. Sato got his motor running aboard a train and then headed out on the highway via a bus and finally went looking for adventure in whatever came his way on foot.
And what came his way was the entrance to the Kashiwa no Mori Motorcycle Shrine, which was established on the property of BDS Co. Ltd., a company specializing in motorcycle auctions in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture.
Upon entering the shrine precincts Mr. Sato saw four torii gates lined up in a row, dividing the shrine into four separate mini shrines. This was an unusual configuration so our reporter felt like he was in store for some special mojo on this shrine visit.
Beyond the first torii was a shrine dedicated to Motomu, the mascot of BDS. It was fitting in the sense that this shrine was on company grounds, but our reporter wasn’t sure why anyone would want to pray to or for Motomu, except maybe to give the rabbit a boost in the Yuru-Kyara Grand Prix rankings.
Next up was the main event, the shrine of all motorcycles in Japan. This shrine could be prayed to for a number of reasons such as motorcycle dealers hoping for good business, those hoping to get a motorcycle license, or anyone simply wishing to not bust their head open while out riding.
However, since Mr. Sato never touches bikes, there wasn’t really anything for him to do, so he moved on to the next one.
Clearly Kashiwa no Mori Motorcycle Shrine was looking to cater to a variety of interests, because through the next torii was a hole-in-one-shrine. This is where golfers can go to pray for a hole in one, or as we’ve seen before, pray not to get a hole in one.
Mr. Sato doesn’t really golf much either, so once again he shuffled on to the next torii gate which stood in front of a shrine where you could pray for family. Mr. Sato finally found something he had a direct connection to and decided to pray at this monument.
Like with a lot of shrines, on the precincts is a booth where you can buy items such as omamori charms and ema boards. They too were based on themes such as Motomu, motorcycles, and golf.
Not wanting to go home empty-handed, Mr. Sato bought a motorcycle omamori, but since he doesn’t have anything to do with those things he doesn’t really need any luck with them.
Instead, he decided to give it to his colleague Go Hatori. That Yamaha Tricity actually belongs to Go and has been affectionately called the “Hatoricity.”
Well, anyway… That omamori should at least help prevent Go from getting hit by a motorcycle while he’s out walking around everywhere.
Website at https://www.bds.co.jp/company/shrine
Kashiwanomori Motorcycle Shrine / 柏の杜オートバイ神社
Address: Chiba-ken, Kashiwa-shi, Kaneyama 771
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