Road trip to Ise Jingu
On Day 5 of my journey, me and Azusa’s family went on a trip to the biggest, most important Shinto shrine complex in Japan, called Ise Jingu. It was a fun trip in the car with a lot of nice views of mountanis and a themepark near the river of Nagoya with the steepest rollercoaster in the world. On our way to the temple complex and back, we ate all kinds of delicious snacks, such as green tea ice cream and takoyaki.
When we arrive at Ise Jingu, the first thing we did was walking through the gate (torii). This torii was made of rough wood. I find that in Shinto, the use of natural materials is quite important. In Ise Jingu, there is a beautiful forest full of ancient sky high trees. These trees were seen as sacred in earlier times.
Kotajingu and Toyoukedaijingu
Ise Jingu has a totally of 125 jinja (shrines).
The two most important shrines are called jingu. Ise Jingu has two important jingu: Kotaijingu and Toyoukefaijingu. Kotajingu is dedicated to Amaterasu-Omikami, who is the great great …. great grandmother of the Emperor of Japan. A divine palace is built in her honour. Japan knows 3 Holy Symbols which approve and strengthen the power of the Emperor. One of them is a mirror. And this mirror is enshrined in Kotajingu.
Toyoukedaijingu is dedicated to Toyouke-no-Okami.Amaterasu-Okami predicted that this kami would be summoned about 1500 years ago and it was enshrined in Toyoukedaijingu. Toyoukedaijingu provides companionship and sacred foods to Amaterasu-Okami and she is also worshipped to get an abundant harvest.
The shopping street near Ise Jingu
After visiting the shrines, we went to the large shopping street near Ise Jingu. It looked really old fashioned and pretty. It had a very Japanese and ancient atmosphere. We tried some candy and local specialities. I was lucky, because I was treated to Ise Udon (a thick noodle local speciality and delicacy) and hot cocoa afterwards! We watched taiko drummers play, which was awesome.
Underneath, you will find pictures of the shopping street.
For some reason, I can’t find the picture I took in this restaurant right now! But anyways, it was a conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Nagoya and we could order specific sushi with the use of an iPad. It was delicious and abundant and afterwards I felt like I had to buy new pants, because I ate so much.