THE GREAT IZUMO TAISHA SHRINE
Sightseeing, Cultural, Lunch not included
A tour designed to immerse us in the Shinto spirituality of ancient Izumo with a visit to the beautiful Izumo Taisha shrine, declared a national treasure: religion, history and tradition combine in an unequivocally unique blend.
What we will see
- Izumo Taisha shrine
- Shimenawa rope
- Shopping in a local souvenir shop
What we will do
- We start off our excursion with a visit to the Izumo Taisha shrine dedicated to Okuninushi-no-mikoto, the Shinto god of marriage, and considered one of the most ancient and sacred shrines in Japan.
- The inside of the shrine is in the Taisha-zukuri style, the most ancient form of Japanese architecture that characterises this type of sacred building. The Izumo Taisha shrine was declared a national treasure. Historically, the shrine has had little to no influence on Buddhist syncretism, unlike most Shintō shrines in Japan.
- There has never been a Buddha statue in Izumo Taisha. The doctrine practised within the shrine is known as Izumo Ōyashiro-kyō. Every year, during the tenth month of the lunar calendar, deities from all over Japan reunite in the Izumo Taisha shrine for their annual meeting.
- The Shimenawa rope hanging in front of the shrine is the largest in Japan: it is 13 metres long with a maximum diameter of 9 metres and weighs 5 tons. In keeping with tradition, these kinds of ropes made of hemp and rice straw, which have diameters that can range from just a few centimetres to several metres, are used for Shinto purifying rituals.
- Before heading back to the port and our ship, we have some free time for a spot of shopping in the local souvenir shop.
What you need to know
- The length of the coach transfer depends on the itinerary.
- We recommend that you book early because only a limited number of places are available.
- Heavy traffic is to be expected as it is travel season in Japan.
- Money cannot be exchanged at the port; we recommend buying Japanese yen beforehand.
- Visibility is subject to weather conditions.
- Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.