A shrine possessing mighty power that protects the eastern Kanto
Since the Heian Era, only three shrines have had the venerable history to earn the top rank of “Jingu”: Ise Shrine, Katori Shrine and Kashima Shrine. Kashima Shrine is dedicated to Takemikazuchi-no-Ōkami, the most powerful patron god of the military arts and the god of victory. As the deity to subjugate the malevolent gods with his overwhelming strength, he generally offers good fortune in work and in life from his power and negotiating prowess. Also, Kashima Shrine is known as the eastern tip of the ley line that begins in Takachiho on the island of Kyushu and passes through Mt. Takano, Ise Shrine, Mt. Fuji, Meiji Shrine and the Imperial Palace. The expression “kashimadachi” which means “to set off on a journey” originated from samurai praying for safety at Kashima Shrine on their travels before beginning the journey. Within the shrine, there are 4 spots which are said to be particularly potent. One is the area around the honden main shrine. Along with the honden, there is the ornate lacquered roumon tower gate which is one of the Three Great Tower Gates of Japan, the haiden prayer hall and the sacred tree which is around 1200 years old. Before visiting the honden, it is customary to visit Takafusa Shrine which is located in front of the haiden. The second power spot consists of the rear shrine and the path leading to it. The straight-line path from the grand torii gate to the rear shrine is the road to the wrathful spirits of the rear shrine from the honden’s peaceful spirits. While supporting the feelings toward your objective, the spirits add passion to your decisiveness and dynamism. The third power spot is the keystone. A magical rock that seals in earthquakes, it apparently suppresses a giant catfish that lurks underground, and the rock cannot be pulled out at all. There is also a keystone at Katori Shrine in Chiba Prefecture, which is said to press down on the catfish’s tail while the one at Kashima holds down the head. The fourth power spot is Mitarashi Pond. Seen to the left and below the rear shrine, clear water comes forth from a miraculous spring. Said to keep flowing even during droughts, soba noodles which are made with the spring water can be eaten at the tea house next to the pond.