the entrance of Ise shrine

Introduction of Shinto shrine (jinja) in Japan

    Shrines in Japan deify various Shinto gods. Because Shinto have Yaoyorozu-no Kami(八百万の神, eight million gods) which means myriad gods. In other words, it is polytheism. Not only the gods from the myth, such as Kojiki(古事記), but also the nature and personal belongings.   Originally, the religion started from the nature worship in ancient time. People had the feeling of fear and respect for the power of the nature in Jomon Period. And hoping to help their prosperity, they also gradually regarded their ancestors, grounds, and country as a part of the gods.        In Asuka Period, Buddhism introduced via the Korean Peninsula. Even though Buddhism have the founder of a religion and Shinto don’t, Read more about Introduction of Shinto shrine (jinja) in Japan[…]

Hakone Shrine

Visiting Hakone Shrine and Mt. Hakone

Sacred power place Hakone Shrine and Mt. Hakone The landscape of Ashino-ko Lake and Mt. Fuji. The red torii gate reflects on the surface of the water. This is one of the symbolic landscape of Japan.   Hakone Shrine is a long and honorable with more than 1200 years history. Many famous samurai lords believed in and visited the shrine. The shrine is famous for giving good luck for a game and answering to earnest wishes.   Mt. Hakone, where Hakone Shrine is located in, is a part of Fuji‐Hakone‐Izu National Park. We can enjoy the observation of birds and plants surrounded by nature from season to season.   It just takes about two and Read more about Visiting Hakone Shrine and Mt. Hakone[…]

Let’s go to Itsukushima Shrine at Miyajima Island!

Famous torii gate in the sea and historic Itsukushima Shrine UNESCO designated Itsukushima Shrine as World Heritage Site in 2006. It is at Miyajima Island, Hiroshima Prefecture and the most popular sightseeing spot the Chugoku region in Japan.     The red buildings and torii gate in the calm sea brings about an air of mystery. The shrine with more than 1400 years history has attracted countless people even though it is far away from Kyoto.   The architecures, cultural properties, and annual event including dances provide us a valuable opportunity to know traditional Japanese culture.   Itsukushima Shrine   Why in the sea? Since the buildings have been in the water’s edge, they Read more about Let’s go to Itsukushima Shrine at Miyajima Island![…]

Miyajima Island itsukushima shrine

Learning about Miyajima Island in Hiroshima, Japan

Miyajima Island where there is Itsukushima Shrine (World Heritage Site) The red torii gate stands calmly and solidly in the Inland Sea Seto. It is really impressive scene. The torii at Miyajima Island is famous as well as the Thousands Torii Gate of Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto City.   Itsukushima Shrine was registered as a cultural site of World Heritage Site in 2006. Actually, the history of the Itsukushima Shrine dates back to 1400 years ago. And there are the events that we can see the traditional Japanese dances at the shrine.    The island is rich in nature and has the temples and shrines. Miyajima is one of the three great views Read more about Learning about Miyajima Island in Hiroshima, Japan[…]

Exploring Ibusuki traditional culture in Kagoshima, Japan!

Not sand bath and hot spring (onsen) only. Ibusuki where the Satsuma culture is still alive Ibusuki City (指宿市) is the temperate region at the southern tip of Satsuma Peninsula in Kagoshima Prefecture. The temperature isn’t below 10℃ even in winter.    Before everything, the sand bath of the city is so famous. But that is not all. The city was in the feudal domain of Satsuma (薩摩) until the Edo Period. The domain was really far from Edo (today’s Tokyo), even from Kyoto. However, they traded with foreign countries China and British independently.   The feudal lords and vassals actively had encouraged the local culture and economy. And they played an important role in the Read more about Exploring Ibusuki traditional culture in Kagoshima, Japan![…]

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famous for the red gates in Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto Fushimi Inari Shrine is located in the south part of Kyoto City where is the sightseeing spot with many historical architectures.    In Kyoto, the Japanese travelers visit the temples of Kinkakuji (Rokuonji) or Kiyomizu-dera rather than Fushimi Taisha. But the shrine is the most popular temple or shrine in Kyoto among the overseas tourist.   When you visit the shrine, you would feel the unique atmosphere of the site. The biggest reason for that is, I think, the “Thousand Torii “. The red gates stand in a row… They make the air mysterious.    The number of the visitor to Fushimi Inari at the New Year reach Read more about Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famous for the red gates in Kyoto[…]

Murouji Temple, five stories

Japanese temples and shrines

    The number of the temples in Japan is about 76,000 and that of the shrines is about 80,000. Coming to Japan, you can see the temples and the shrines everywhere even if you travel Kyoto, Nara, or Kamakura.    Today, few Japanese deeply devot to a specific religion. But Buddhism and Shinto has take rooted in their lifestyle. So they visit the temples and shrines in various events, including new year, wedding and funeral. Of course for sightseeing. And people pray for their good health, bumper crops, or descendants in prosperity.   Japanese traditional architectures, especially the temples, are seen as one of the streams of Chinese. But they are Read more about Japanese temples and shrines[…]