mini umbrellas at Mizumiya shrine, known as the frog shrine, in Fujimi

There is currently a gorgeous mini mini-umbrella sky at the frog shrine in Fujimi City. The umbrellas are adorable, no bigger than my hand, and hang in rows along the shrine’s approach. Moreover, the satsuki azalea are currently in full bloom and the hydrangea have started to bloom too.

The Frog Shrine

The frog shrine’s real name is Mizumiya shrine. It is located in Fujimi City. To date I had information for the shrine included in this post about the nearby prehistoric park and cosmos walkway. But with the flowers in bloom and the mini-umbrella sky on display, its time to give the shrine a post all of its own! It is referred to as the frog shrine as there are dozens of frog statues at the shrine.

The Japanese for frog is “kaeru”, which is also how you say “to go home” (but different kanji). There are a few different frog shrines in Saitama Prefecture. But the benevolence of this one in Fujimi has come to be known as “traffic safety”, presumably from the pun on the dual meaning of “kaeru”. There are two frog guardians at the entrance to the shrine approach and another two at the steps to the main hall. Along the approach there are both frog statues and plaques depicting frogs. Moreover, there is a fortune telling frog, as in the Youtube Short below! Its been painted green since I took this footage. There are even more frog statues and paraphernalia around the main hall. A must visit for any frog fans!

Mizumiya Shrine

The Makasan Hannyain Mizumiya Shrine underwent some renovations early on in the pandemic. I think it was around spring 2020. I remember they were working on the approach to the shrine. Ever since then it is looking even better than it did before. Apart from the work on the shrine approach, they have also upgraded their photo props, which are a regular feature at the shrine from what I can tell. And they are still working on it. One of the most recent developments is two of the large frogs, including the fortune telling frog, have been painted green!

Moreover, they have introduced even more features. The shrine always had a hoop throw fortune game and that is still in a corner of the precincts, behind the Inari Shrine. But they now have a beautiful display of Japanese fans beside it. They also have a heart shaped stand for tying fortunes too. And I am pretty sure some of the frog statues are new. Moreover, they currently have the aforementioned, adorable, mini mini-umbrella sky!

Satsuki Azalea

Satsuki azalea Mizumiya frog shrine Fujimi

The shrine is known for its satsuki, a type of azalea that blooms 60 days after the spring equinox. The other main type of azalea in Japan is the Tsutsuji, which is the one you can see around mid to end of April. Meanwhile, Satsuki is a May flower, but it blooms into June in most places. Satsuki is most often written in Katakana, because the kanji for it is not in common use. It is the old writing for “May”!

Hydrangea

Satsuki azalea and hydrangea Mizumiya frog shrine Fujimi

It feels very apt that hydrangea are grown at the frog shrine. Many people say that frogs don’t like hydrangea, but you only have to look at this post on bored panda – full of frogs on hydrangea flowers – to know that is not true! Although some refer to it as a hydrangea shrine, there aren’t that many hydrangea at the shrine. But they are beautifully presented.

Information

Shrine: Mizumiya Shrine, aka the frog shrine! 水宮神社

Address: 1762-3 Mizuko, Fujimi, Saitama 354-0011. View on Google Maps.

Hours: from 9 am to 5 pm.

Official website.

Access

About a 15 to 20 minute walk from Tobu Tojo line Mizuhodai Station. There is a bus stop at nearby Mizuko Kaizuka park. The Fujimi loop bus stops there. There is also a Tobu bus for “Lalaport Fujimi” that goes from Shiki Station, alight at “寺下団地” Terashita Danchi bus stop. There is a parking lot at the shrine.

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