Izumo Taisha Shrine in the Shimane Prefecture, Japan is known as a sacred place for marriage. In 2019, it has been a hot topic due to the Heisei no Daisengu taking place over 11 years and the main shrine and main shrine building being renewed. Here, we will introduce the highlights and recommended routes at Izumo Taisha, one of Japan's prominent power spots! The precincts are spacious and have lots of attractions, so let's go around the shrine efficiently by referring to this article!
What is Izumo Taisha?
Izumo Taisha is an ancient temple that enshrines the god of marriage, Okuninushi no Okami, known as “Daikokusama”. It is said that the Izumo Taisha Shrine began when it was built for Okuninushi no Okami by the God of the Heavens /Amaterasu, in exchange for handing over possession his country. The enshrined god, Okuninushi no Okami, is widely known as the “God of Union” that connects men and women and other relationships such as work etc, because it is the “god that manages the invisible things such as human destiny and relationships”. There is a rope talisman (Shimenawa) in the Kaguraden (hall) that shows the boundary between impurity and sacred things such as gods, and it is the largest in Japan.
The Best Worship Route for Izumo Taisha
If you want to make the most of your visit, it is important to go around the shrine in the correct order. Here we will introduce the recommended worship course
1. Seidamari no Otorii
Starting from the wooden Seidamari no Otorii on the hill. It is the second torii out of the four torii gates at Izumo Taisha Shrine. When you pass through the gate, make sure to bow as a greeting to God.
Cleanse yourself before entering the Aragaki, holy area. Rinse your hands and mouth with clean water, wash away the impurities, and go to God with a pure feeling.
3. The Bronze Torii
Continuing onwards, go to the 4th Torii gate at the main gate of Aragaki. It was donated by Mori Tsunahiro, the 2nd lord of Choshu Domain, and is designated as a national important cultural property.
4. The Main Shrine
The main shrine, which stands at the back of the tower gate and is surrounded by a Tamagaki wall, is the home of Okuninushi no Okami. The height is about 24 meters, and it is the largest main shrine building in Japan. It has a strong presence and is overwhelming. The current shrine building was built in 1774 and was renewed in the 4th "Sengu" (Shrine Removal). Since you can't usually enter the gate, we have to pray to God at the Yatsuashimon gate.
5. Soga no Yashiro
Soga no Yashiro watches over Okuninushi no Okami from the foot of Mt. Yakumoyama towering behind. This is also a power spot! When you visit the shrine, proceed counterclockwise around the shrine.
The shrine is used for weddings etc, and the size of the hall is 270 tatami mats (437.4㎡). The front Shimenawa rope weighs about 4.4 tonnes, is 13 meters long and has a width of about 8 meters! It should be noted that the white paper that is hanging from the Shimenawa rope is called a Shide (zigzag paper streamer), which shows that it is a sacred area
If you Wish to Buy a Profitable Amulet
“Shinmon Street” prospered as “Monzen machi” (the town in front of the gate) of Izumo Taisha. There are shops selling amulets and other items related to matchmaking. The length of the shrine pathway is about 10 minutes on foot from Izumo Taisha Shrine to Monzen machi entrance. Take a look around here for souvenirs!
Kamimukae Festival, The Ritual Held at Izumo Taisha
October of the lunar calendar, is the month when “Yaoyorozu no Kami” or “Eight Million Gods” from all over the country are gathered in Izumo and at Inasa Beach the Kamimukae Shinji ritual is held, and the Kamimukae festival, is held at Kaguraden. Some shrines are not open to general tourists. Be careful not to take photos thoughtlessly or disturb the rituals!
How to Get to Izumo Taisha
If you are starting from Tokyo Station, take the Bullet Train to JR Izumoshi Station. Transfer to the Ichibata Bus bound for “Izumo Taisha, Hinomisaki, Uryu” and the bus will arrive in about 25 minutes. It is also possible to go to JR Izumoshi station via the special express train “Sunrise Izumo”.
From the Kansai area, take the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station or Kyoto Station.
If you plan to use an airplane, Izumo Enmusubi Airport has 5 flights a day and the flights last around 80 minutes. Take the airport shuttle bus for about 25 minutes to JR Izumo-shi Station. There are 5 flights a day from Osaka (Itami) airport, and these flights last around 50 minutes.
- Year of construction ... Unknown
- Shrine: Okuninushi no Okami
- Festivals ... Omike Festival / January 1st, Setsubun Festival / February 3rd, Regular Festival Nino festival / May 15th, Izumo Taisha Grand Festival / August 5th-8th, etc
- Spot name: Izumo Taisha (出雲大社)
- Street Address: 195, Kizukihigashi, Taishacho Tsukihigashi, Izumo, Shimane 699-0701
- Language: English pamphlet available
- Ticket: Free
- Holidays: Open year round
- Worship time: 6: 00-20: 00