Stop 14 is Mizukami Funayama Shrine. Founded in 1608 in what was then Togura-juku, a post town along the Hokkoku Trail to old Edo, this shrine is famous for its wood carvings that have been designated as an Important National Cultural Artifact. Pass through the large red wooden torii gate at the entrance and duck underneath the 2nd gate to enter the courtyard. You’ll find a rather modern building with a beautiful wood carving marking the name of the shrine. It’s impressive, but not impressive enough to be designated as a National Artifact. For that, go further back into the courtyard to see the original shrine building, now enclosed in a protective covering. Here you can see the shrine’s amazingly detailed wooden carvings. Especially noteworthy are the nobori-ryu – rising dragon – on the right, and kudari-ryu – descending dragon, on the left.