When making the pilgrimage at Ise Jingu, it’s customary to start from Geku
Among all of the shrines in Japan, Ise Jingu is the cream of the crop. Within this grand shrine, there are 2 main shrines: Naiku (Kotaijingu) which enshrines Amaterasu-omikami, the tutelary god for the Japanese people, and Geku (Toyouke Daijingu) which enshrines Toyouke-no-omikami, the tutelary god for the basic necessities of life. In October 2013, the process of building a new shrine and transferring the enshrined object to that site that takes place once every 20 years was completed, and all of the shrine buildings and torii gates have been newly reconstructed. When making the pilgrimage at Ise Jingu, it’s customary to start from Geku and then move to Naiku, a custom that has been in place since the ancient times. There is some distance between the two main shrines, but transportation by bus is possible.
Ise Jingu’s Geku where the god of food, clothing and shelter is worshiped
Toyouke-no-omikami who is enshrined at Geku is the guardian deity of industry that provides the blessings of the necessities of life. Her story began about 1500 years ago when she was called upon to offer food to Amaterasu-no-omikami as the Miketsu-kami at Yamada-no-Hara near Naiku. Once you purify yourself by washing your hands and rinsing your mouth, pay your respects at the Shogu where Toyouke-no-omikami is enshrined. At the Mike-den at the back of the Shogu, a ceremony is held twice a day in the morning and at noon to offer meals to Amaterasu-no-omikami. This ritual has continued unabated for over a thousand years since the enshrinement of Toyouke-no-omikami.
Make that pilgrimage of the gods naturally residing there and gain in power.
After visiting the Shogu, you will also want to visit the four other associate shrines at Geku. Once you cross the Kameishi which spans over the pond in front of the Shogu, the Tsuchi-no-Miya which enshrines the god of land is on your right while on your left is the Kaze-no-Miya with the god of wind. And up ahead is Taga-no-Miya. This shrine, located at the top of 98 stone steps and which enshrines the Aramitama of Toyouke-no-omikami is a prestigious structure for the Shogu. If you have the time, there is also the Tsukimi-no-Miya, a 10-minute walk north of Geku. At this associate shrine, the brother of Amaterasu-no-kami is enshrined as the god of the moon who presides over the night.