Ise Jingu Naiku (Kotaijingu)

This is one of Japan’s most prominent holy lands. It enshrines the goddess Amaterasu-omikami, the tutelary god of the Japanese people

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Naiku (Inner Shrine) is officially known as Kotajingu and is a prestigious shrine venerated by generations of Emperors. Within its 93 hectare grounds, an ancient forest spreads out and there is a majestic air in the atmosphere.
1 Uji Tachicho Ise-shi, Mie
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After sightseeing at the Geku (Outer Shrine), go to the Naiku where the highest god is enshrined  

Naiku enshrines Amaterasu-omikami, the progenitor of the Imperial Household and the tutelary god of the Japanese people. The object of worship is the Yata-no-Kagami (Sacred Mirror), and along with the Yasakani-no-Magatama (Jewel) and the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (Sword), they are collectively called The Three Sacred Treasures. Within Naiku, there is the Shogu which enshrines Amaterasu-omikami, plus 2 associate shrines and 10 administrative shrines. The process of building a new shrine and then transferring the enshrined object there, a ritual that has gone on for 1300 years at a rate of once every 20 years, was completed in October 2013, and all of the main shrine buildings have been newly reconstructed. Ise Jingu has the two major shrines of Naiku and Geku (Toyouke Daijingu) which enshrines Toyouke-no-omikami. When visiting both shrines, it is customary to first begin from Geku.

Praying for the well-being of a nation at the Go-Shogu main shrine in the 93ha holy precinct

Along the path to the shrine, there is the usual well for ablution to wash your hands and rinse your mouth, but doing the same at the site of the Isuzu River within Naiku is the original custom. After purifying yourself with the pristine waters of the river, head for the Shogu. At the top of the stone steps, there is the Gojoden surrounded by five fences where the enshrined deity of Amaterasu-omikami is placed. The area above the stone steps is holy ground in which taking of photographs is prohibited. Originally, Ise Jingu was the site to pray for the well-being of the nation. Instead of simply making individual prayers, you will want to visit with a relaxed feeling of daily gratitude.

After visiting Go-Shogu, pay your respects at Aramatsuri-no-Miya

The prestigious Aramatsuri-no-Miya is the leading shrine of 10 subordinate shrines within Naiku. In contrast with the Nigimitama that has the kind and peaceful profile of Amaterasu-omikami enshrined at the main shrine, Aramatsuri-no-Miya has the more energetic Aramitama. Compared with the Shogu, the number of visitors here is smaller, but it is a valuable site where you can directly face the main shrine. For that reason, there are many people who mainly go to Aramatsuri-no-Miya just so that they can receive strong feelings of power. In addition, there are the other minor shrines within the grounds such as Kazahinomi-no-Miya which enshrines the god of rain and wind and Koyasu Shrine which provides good fortune for safe childbirth and children. You will also want to take full advantage of the deep forest which surrounds the shrines.

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