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Japanese Shrine Pampers Local Bees By Creating Mini Drinking Areas For Thirsty Honey-Makers

Japanese shrine that cares for bees

Japanese omotenashi, also known as acts of hospitality, is one of the best in the world. One particular Japanese shrine took this a step further by creating miniature water drinking areas for local bees to ensure their comfort and safety.

Caring for the local bees

Japanese shrine bees - thirsty bees
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Japanese shrine Hitokotonushi made miniature drinking areas for the local bees after people witnessed said bees clinging desperately onto the ledge of the temizu-ya – the cleansing ritual area of a Shinto shrine – to drink water.

Japanese shrine bees - miniature drinking area
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Japanese shrine bees - miniature water shrine
Miniature water shrine
Image credit: @hitokoto0913

The miniature water drinking areas are made using wet moss, which allows the bees to safely drink water while having a more secure foothold.

Japanese shrine bees - 2016 drinking area
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The earliest creation of these miniatures can be traced back to 2016. Housed in a small pot, it had a much simpler design as compared to the miniature water shrine you see today.

Japanese shrine bees - grasshopper
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Other thirsty insects, including grasshoppers, are also welcome at these drinking areas.

The shrine’s hospitality towards these insects is in line with the beliefs of Shintoism – revering and respecting all living things.

About Hitokotonushi Shrine

Japanese shrine bees - hitokotonushi
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三竹山 一言主神社

Located in Ibaraki prefecture, the Hitokotonushi Shrine enshrines the Hitokotonushi deity, who embraces the concept of “acting according to one’s word”.

Japanese shrine bees - hitokoto deity
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三竹山 一言主神社

The Hitokotonushi deity is also said to be one who grants prayers, even if it is said in just one word. Fittingly, part of the name of the deity contains “hitokoto”, which means “in one word” in Japanese. 

Kindness towards the bees touches the hearts of netizens

Japanese shrine bees - kind world
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Japanese shrine bees - act of kindness
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The actions of the shrine led to many on Twitter feeling warm and buzzy, with users leaving heartfelt comments such as “What a kind world!” and “I’m getting healed by this act of kindness.”

Hitokotonushi, a Japanese shrine that cares for bees

Head down to the Hitokotonushi Shrine to witness the beauty of humankind getting along with Mother Nature. While you’re there, you should try using a single word to represent your wishes before praying to the Hitokotonushi deity.

Address: 875 Otsukatomachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, 303-0045 Joso
Telephone: 02-9727-0659

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Cover image adapted from: @hitokoto0913 and @hitokoto0913