Fukazawa Zeni-arai Benten

Make getting off the train at the Hakone Tozan Railway’s Tonosawa Station worth your while by visiting this distinctive Shinto shrine right by the platform. Enshrining Benzaiten, the goddess of knowledge, beauty, and the arts, Fukazawa Zeni-arai (“money-washing”) Benten was established in 1926. That was when an entrepreneur visiting Tonosawa claimed to have had a vision in which he was urged to build a shrine by a clear stream flowing down the mountainside. The businessman did as he was told, and the sanctum he founded has since grown to include three small halls. The innermost one has several baskets laid out in front of a small pool, its water diverted from the adjacent brook. The baskets are used to place money in, as washing your cash here is said to help it multiply. Try it out, and perhaps the goddess will in due course fatten your wallet.

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.

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