Shrines are an important part of Japan's culture. Shrines, or "jinja" are places of worship and the dwellings of the "Kami-sama", or Shinto "gods". You will find these places of worship everywhere, hidden in the forest, sandwiched between office buildings on busy streets, or clinging to mountaintops. Visiting them can be a spiritual experience for anyone to gain insight into Japanese history and traditions.
If you learn Japanese language, you will be able to find many amazing facts about Japan's historical shrines more easily.
Let's explore some of the very famous Japanese shrines!
The Itsukushima shrine is visually breathtaking. It was constructed on a small inlet, a few meters from the coast. This exceptional location ensures that the shrine's red color contrasts intensely with the blue sea color of the water and the green woodland nearby.
When you look at the shrine from the mainland shrine complex, its famous Torii gate seems almost floating on the water during high tide and gives an impression of a mystical island.
The Meiji Jingu shrine of Tokyo is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. It stands in a woodland area of Yoyogi park, which provides a beautiful place to relax after the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. This shrine was constructed in 1925.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is located at the foot of Mount Inari in Kyoto. This shrine is famous for its tunnel of red Torii gates, which leads to the main complex. The march to the top of the mountain is practiced as a pilgrimage ritual.
While walking up, you will witness many small statues and shrines. Much of the route covers a long row of Torii gates. Visiting this shrine can make for a great day out.
The Nezu Shrine is located in a gorgeous Japanese garden in Tokyo. It is one of the ancient shrines in the city, dating back to 1705, and is undoubtedly the most beautiful one. You can follow it through the avenue of Torii gates held through the trees - leading to the shrine.
The building depicts a true Japanese style with a pleasing juxtaposition of red, green, and gold.
The Hida-Sannogu shrine of Japan is all shaded by tall trees in its surrounding, which glorifies the shrine's beauty to the next level. Besides its natural beauty, the shrine is known for its role in the Shinto Sanno Matsuri festival - one of the most crucial festivals in Japan.
This festival has been performed for centuries, including a ritual where a long parade of snakes close in around the historic Hie-Jina shrine in Tokyo. A visit to this shrine can make a nice change of pace if you are in the area.
Dewa Sanzan refers to the three holy mountains that symbolize reincarnation - Haguro-san (the past/birth), Gas-san (the present), and Yudono-san (the future/rebirth). Each of them is a small shrine near its summit.
These mountains are the hub for seekers of enlightenment who come here to partake in mountain worship.
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