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Take Shuguang Road to Find History and Culture 2018-11-16
The Shuguang Road area in Hangzhou is rich in historical tradition and legend and includes several places especially suited for matchmaking and lovers.

The road is on the north side of Baoshi Hill, connecting with Baochu Road in the northeast and Yanggong Causeway in the southwest. The road is noted for its large, thriving phoenix trees, which provide walkers with shelter from the sun.

It’s pleasant to walk along the road and breathe the refreshing air diffused by the flourishing plants. There are roadside restaurants, and scenic spots nearby.

While waiting at the bus station on Shuguang Road, you may be attracted by a flute-shaped bronze statue about 2.5 meters high. It was an ancient Chinese musical instrument named chiba. The statue was erected to commemorate the former Huguo Renwang Temple, which was a symbol of the cultural link between Japan and China in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).

During that period, a Buddhist monk from Japan traveled across sea to meditate in the temple, where he mastered playing chiba. After going back to his motherland, he spread chiba playing in Japan. The instrument became popular and today is still commonly played in Japan. In China, however, the tradition of the chiba was not handed down due to the cultural discontinuity under the rule of Mongols during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). It’s pity that the temple was demolished in 2003 in a road-widening project, but there are still other interesting sites along Shuguang Road.

Yellow Dragon Cave Dressed in Green
Yellow Dragon Cave Dressed in Green is one of the new top 10 scenic views of West Lake. It includes a traditional Chinese garden landscape with a pavilion, stone inscription, small waterfall and a pond. The highlight is the golden dragon head statue that gushes spring water.

The scenic spot is shrouded in a mysterious legend. In ancient times, there was said to be two dragons living in a cave nearby. The elder dragon was evil and used its fire to burn Hangzhou. To save the city, the younger dragon killed the wicked dragon, but died in the fight. People buried the younger dragon with tears in their eyes, which flowed into the dragon’s tomb and came out as a spring. In the place where spring water flowed, locals built a golden dragon head statue in memory of the upright dragon.

The spring has issued from the dragon head for centuries. Early in the Southern Song Dynasty, this site was a renowned shrine for worshipping the dragon. In the following dynasties, it was regarded as a Buddhist holy area and visited by numerous worshippers. Starting in the 1970s, the local government transformed it into a public garden and carved out space for performances of Yueju Opera. Eight operas are performed daily from 8:45am to 4:25am.

Address: No.69, Shuguang Road
Opening hours: 7:15am -6pm
Tel: 86-571-87972468
Admission: free

Yuanyuan Folk Park
Yuan in Chinese can mean “predestined relationship,” and the park is famous for parental matchmaking. Hundreds of middle-aged parents post profiles of their children on walls and trees in the park, asking each other for their child''s gender, age, career and hobbies, and listing phone numbers for further contact.

The parents attempt to arrange blind dates for their sons or daughters who have not found their Mr Right or Mrs Right and who may be in or reaching their late 20s or 30s, an age traditionally believed past the best years to get married. Since the children usually feel too embarrassed to show up at the park themselves, their parents take it upon themselves to help them look for possible soul mates in the park.

Address: No.16, Shuguang Road
Opening hours: 7:30am-6pm
Tel: 86-571- 8797-2469
Admission: 15 yuan

Yue Lao Temple
According to Chinese myth, the ancient matchmaking god called Yue Lao was in charge of marriage. He tied an invisible red string around the ankles of men and women who are destined to marry each other in the future. The two people connected by the red thread were destined to be lovers, regardless of time, place or circumstance. This magical cord might stretch or tangle, but never break.

The Yue Lao Temple is dedicated to this matchmaking god. Although it is quite small, legend has it that it is very effective and as a result it is crowded with people praying for relationships and marriage. In the center of the temple stands a golden statue of Yue Lao. Under the statue, there are several boxes containing objects for drawing lots to determine the fate of relationships, marriages, fortune and offspring. From those boxes one can draw lots, inscribed with a number. Explanations to the meaning of each number can be purchased at a nearby counter.

Address: No.69, Shuguang Road
Opening hours: 7:30am-6pm
Tel: 86-571-87986653
25 yuan

Source: hicenter.cn with a re-editing
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No.188, Fuchun Road, Hangzhou, China
TEL: 86-571-96123
FAX: 86-571-96123
Complain: slw@hz.gov.cn
Consult: slw@hz.gov.cn