Ise Jingu (Ise Shrine) is the collective name for 125 Shinto shrines. The shrine covers about 5,500 hectares. In accordance with the Shinto principle of purity and renewal, all sanctuary buildings are rebuilt, and the deities are transferred to the new structures every 20 years. The Shinto ceremony has continued for more than 1,300 years.
Ise Shrines are divided into two main groups: the Geku (outer shrine) and Naiku (inner shrine). We were able to walk to the Geku, but we took a bus to get to Naiku, which was a 15-minute ride from the station.
Naiku is dedicated to Amaterasu Omikami, the supreme guardian deity of the Japanese. A sacred world unfolds after crossing the Ujibashi Bridge. It is a sacred place with a very solemn atmosphere.
On the way to Goshoden, the main sanctuary of Naiku, visitors can see Torii Gate, Isuzugawa Mitarashi (a purification place), Sanshuden (a place for visitors to rest), and Kaguraden (a building where specific forms of music and dance are performed). Also visible are 14 auxiliary shrines within the central sanctuaries and 109 other peripheral shrines. While walking in the surrounding woods, you may feel refreshed by the breeze of the clean air.
Goshoden, the main sanctuary of Naiku, is constructed in the traditional Japanese architectural style. While here, we prayed for peace in Ukraine.
After visiting the shrine, we visited Oharai Machi, a long street located in front of Naiku to welcome visitors for shopping and eating. The street is lined with shops from the Edo Period (1603– 1868) and was crowded with visitors. Along the 800-meter-long street, there are souvenir shops and restaurants where we bought souvenirs and locally made biscuits.
Located at the halfway point of Oharai Machi, you will see Okage Yokocho, the site of some traditional buildings common from the Edo to Meiji periods (1868–1921). It was fun to simply walk around the area and enjoy the atmosphere.