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【Mie】The Ise Grand Shrine; The most important Shinto Shrine in Japan2015.12.28

151228 伊勢神宮

The Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu) is the most sacred Shinto Shrine in Japan, where more than seven million pilgrims and tourists visit through a year. This shrine is located in Mie Prefecture, which is two hours by a train from Osaka. The beginning of this shrine dates back to the third Century. This place is featured as a spiritual spot surrounded by the forests of sacred Japanese cypress trees.

Ise Grand Shrine consists of two shrines, which is the Outer Shrine, called “Geku” and the Inner Shrine, called “Naiku.” Those two shrines are located at a distance of about six kilometers. The buildings have a purely Japanese architecture style, called “shinmei zukuri.” This style shows the beauty of simplicity and antiquity.

The Inner Shrine is dedicated to the sun goddess “Amaterasu.” Here is the home of the Sacred Mirror of the Emperor. “Amaterasu” is said that she gave this sacred mirror to the first emperor of Japan by herself. This is the reason why the Outer Shrine is recognised much higher reverence than the Inner Shrine. No pictures are allowed to be taken due to its sacredness.

The Outer Shrine(Geku) enshrines “Toyouke Okami,” the goddess of food, agriculture, housing, and industry clothes. She is said to the person who offers the sacred food to “Amaterasu.”

The interesting unique fact is that both the Inner Shrine and Outer Shrine are rebuilt due to an ancient Shinto tradition every twenty years. Therefore, you will find an empty lot next to the existing shrine, which is for its next rebuilding. The next rebuilding will take place in 2033. The Sengakukan Museum was opened in 2002, where the materials about shrine’s rebuilding are on display for tourists.

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