The largest of the branch shrines
When it comes to Izumo Grand Shrine, most people would usually envisage the one in Shimane Prefecture, but there is also an Izumo Grand Shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture. Established in 1992, it is a relatively new shrine that has a connection with the Fukuhara district of Kasama City in the prefecture. There is a direct line beginning from Shimane’s Izumo Shrine named for the land of the setting sun, going through Nagano Prefecture’s Suwa Grand Shrine enshrining the second child god of the deity Okuninushi and ending in Ibaraki Prefecture which is known as the land of the rising sun. Hitachi no Kuni Izumo Grand Shrine is said to be the largest of the branch shrines scattered throughout the country, and many people visit it to obtain good fortune in matchmaking.
The honden, the large sacred rope, the torii gate and other highlights
The honden main shrine that was built in the oldest architectural style for Shinto shrines as was the case for the National Treasure of Shimane’s Izumo Shrine is based on the giant tree worship of the Jomon Era, so it follows the oldest shrine style. In the haiden front shrine, there is the large shimenawa (sacred rope) which is the symbol of Izumo Shrine. At a length of 16m and a weight of 6 tonnes, it is even bigger than the one at the original shrine. In addition, there are many highlights such as the statue of Okuninushi and the ceiling paintings in the haiden along with Japan’s largest torii gate done in granite. Please take note that the usual style of worship at this shrine is two bows, four claps and one bow, unlike the usual style of two bows, two claps and one bow at other shrines.
After worshiping, enjoy glass blowing
In Hitachi no Kuni Izumo Grand Shrine, there is the Kamosu glass blowing workshop. Long ago, by order of the enshrined deity at Izumo Shrine, objects of glass blowing were offered to the Emperor according to the records, and so before glass culture was brought over from the West, Japan had already had a glass culture of its own. At this shrine, the priests create and offer their own works from glass blowing, and even give glass blowing lessons directly to visitors. Reservations are required.