Izumo, the land of the gods. Among all of the shrines, the power at Izumo Grand Shrine is exceptional.
Izumo is the hometown for mythology. It is said that the god of nation-building Okuninushi who is enshrined in the main hall had been given Izumo Grand Shrine in exchange for giving his land to the goddess Amaterasu. Generally speaking, the month of October has the Japanese name of Kannazuki (the month without gods) which was actually pronounced as Kamiaritsuki (the month with gods) in this region. The reason for this was that October was the time when all of the Japanese deities gathered at the site of Okuninushi. The Nishi-jukusha and Higashi-jukusha buildings which bracket the main hall housed the gods when they visited. Every year in October of the lunar calendar, the Kamimukaesai (god-welcoming festival) begins, followed by the Kamiarisai festival and then the Karasadesai to see off the gods.
Worshiping methods only found at Izumo Grand Shrine
There are 4 torii gates at Izumo Grand Shrine. The main hall can be accessed from the west and museum, but if you can, go through the No. 2 torii because you can sweep away any impurities at the Harai-no-Yashiro on the way to the shrine. Then you can receive your destiny in a clean state. In addition, the way to worship at Izumo differs from the usual “2 bows, 2 claps, 1 bow” in that at this shrine, it’s “2 bows, 4 claps, 1 bow”. When praying, saying your name and address to yourself is a way of giving thanks which will bring good fortune.
The main hall completing the Heisei Era renovations
Sengu refers to the transfer of a spirit of a deity and the renovations for the main buildings of a shrine before the spirit is returned. The National Treasure-designated main hall was built in 1744 and has undergone sengu 3 times. This time, the Heisei Era renovations with the main hall took place for the first time in 60 years between 2008 and 2013. Renovations on the auxiliary and subordinate shrines will continue until 2016. By all means, visit the main hall refreshed through the power of the gods.