Located in Mie Prefecture, the Ise Grand Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the sun goddess. Supposedly, the shrine or “Jingu” as it is commonly called, is home to the Sacred Mirror; this mirror was the one that drew Amaterasu from hiding and brought light back to the world. In reality, Ise Jingu is a complex of shrines centered around two main shrines, Naiku and Geku.
The inner shrine is Naiku, said to be where Amaterasu dwells even today. Whereas the outer shrine, Geku, is located about six kilometers from Naiku and dedicated to Toyouke-Omikami, the god of agriculture, rice, and harvest. There are an additional 123 shrines in Ise City surrounding both Naiku and Geku. The shrine buildings at Naiku and Geku are rebuilt every 20 years based upon a Shinto belief of death and renewal.
The shrine was established in 4 BCE when Princess Yamatohime no Mikoto wandered for twenty years looking for a place to worship the sun goddess. Upon arriving in Ise, Yamatohime received a message from Amaterasu saying that this was the land where she wished to reside. Today, only a person of the royal lineage may be the high priest or priestess of Ise Jingu.
Hidden in Oharai, a small town near Ise Jingu, the Okage Yokocho (gratitude side street) opened in 1993. Here, the buildings are constructed in reverence to the gods of the Shinto shrines of Ise. You’ll find souvenir shops and restaurants aplenty along this old-fashioned side street—it’s open daily from 9:30 to 5:30 pm.
The inner and outer shrines are some 6 kilometers apart, therefore it's recommended that you visit by bus. Buses depart from Ujiyamada and Iseshi stations.
Ise Guesthouse Kazami offers more than just the cheapest bed in town
Tsumugiya, an artsy guesthouse in Ise town
Looking like a shrine, temple & small castle all rolled into one, the traditional Japanese Hinjitsukan structure was operated as..
Traditional Japanese sweets from the ancient Akafuku store, surrounded by traditional houses, shops and street-side stalls that..
Ise-Shima National Park in Mie Prefecture is well-known for its legendary Ise Lobster. But, are you brave enough to try Ise Lobster..
For the first time in its century-old history, the National Confectionery Expo is being held in Mie Prefecture, from Friday Ap..
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate your union, look no farther than Meoto Iwa in Mie Prefecture. These two rocks standing in the crashing ocean..
The streets have a festival-like atmosphere all year. The "Okage-za" museum offers a glimpse into Ise's history and culture
The area of Okage Yokocho is a nostalgic street leading to Ise Naiku Shrine. It is lined with Edo and Meiji Era style buildings..