- November 22 2015
“Atsuta Jingu” the conventional and authority of the old Japanese shrine in Nagoya!
When you ask a question like “What makes you attractive when you travel in Japan?” and may people say, “It is the fusion of its development and tradition.”
Yes, they are absolutely right! Even in Tokyo, where the place is surrounded by the skyscrapers, there is “Meiji Jingu” a spacious large green shrouded with tranquil atmosphere just next to Harajuku.
Here in Nagoya, the third largest city in Japan, there is an old and historical shrine call Atsuta Jingu.
According to the Shinto documents, this shrine was established in 113 A.D.
In 2013, they held a special ceremony to celebrate its 1900th anniversary. This shrine has an incredibly long history.
Today, I would like to report good sightseeing points by following its history of Atsuta Jingu.
How to get to “Atsuta Jingu”
To get to Atsuta Jingu is easy. Starting from Nagoya station you have to take Meitetsu line. The station call Jingu-mae is the closest stop and it is about 6 minutes ride, only two stops from Nagoya station.
Go through the wicket and on your left had side, there is a sigh says “Atsuta Jingu”. It is so obvious, so you will not miss it.
Follow the sign, walk straight the corridor and go down the stairs. It will lead you to the outside.
There is an area map near the steps, so check out the direction and maybe it is a good idea to take a photo for your reference. The great thing about Nagoya is almost everything is written in both Japanese and English! Isn’t it wonderful?
Just in front of the station, there is a big street. Atsuta Jingu is located on the opposite side of this street. I was up really early this day so the picture I took this was still 6 am in the morning. It was just after the dawn.
When you start walking along the big street for a little while, the dense grove suddenly appears in front of you! Then you will see the huge wooden gate “Torii”.
Let’s see inside the Atsuta Shrine!
When you come closer, it was quite bigger than I expected!
When you go through Torii, there is a wide gravel street laid straight from the gate surrounded by the grove. The trees shout out the direct sunlight so the cool breeze makes me comfortable especially in the hot summer.
After a while, you will arrive at “Chozu sha (purification trough)”. This is the place for ritual cleansing of hands and mouth with water when visiting shrines and temples.
Take a ladle with your right hand and wash your left hand first and wash your right hand next. Put the ladle back on your right hand and hold the water with your left hand and cleanse your mouth with the holding water. This is how you purify before go close to the temple. Please do not forget to rinse the ladle for the next person.
These are the dedicated sake for the shrine. The brand labels are all different but it looks beautiful when it put all together and when you see from a distant.
One thousand years old camphor!
This was the best part for me to see this one thousand years old camphor.
There are many camphor in the precinct but the famous ones, seven oldest and largest are distinguished as “Seven Camphor”.
This camphor is said more than one thousand years old. It looks like the tree from “Princess Mononoke”. I got captivated by its stately figure. I found many people come to this tree and dedicate their prayer.
The moss-grown white branches looked beautiful…!
Over 1900 years of History Atsuta Jingu
Before we start telling the story of Atsuta Jingu, it is essential to understand “Kusanagi no tsurugi (the Kusanagi’s sword).
According to the old document “Kojiki” which explains the establishment of Shinto, “Kusanagi no tsurugi” is one of the three Sacred Treasures: the mirror, the sword, and the crescent jewel, which was first dedicated to Amaterasuoomikami (the Shinto god of the sun). Still now, the three Sacred Treasures which symbolizing the Japanese Imperial throne are succeed to successive emperors.
Nowadays, at the ceremony of the succession to the throne, they use the replica so even the emperor has not seen the original treasures. It is mysterious treasures. Anyway, here in Atsuta Jingu they are safekeeping this “Kusanagi no Tsurugi”.
In 668A.D. a monk form Shiragi (the ancient country in the Korean Peninsula) stole this Kusanagi no Tsurugi from Atsuta Jingu, so they hid it somewhere for its safet but in 668 A.D. they put it back to Atsuta Jingu again. Since then, this treasure has been enshrined in this Atsuta Jingu.
Let’s take a look the main shrine
After passing the huge camphor, there is another Torii gate. Just go through the gate and this will lead you to the main shrine.
I can see the main shrine over the wide gravelly street.
Unfortunately, the main building was burnt because of the devastating bombing attack from WW2, so what we are looking at now is the reconstructed building in 1955.
We are not allowed to go inside the building but still you can glance its mysterious ambiance from the outside.
I found some amulets at the shop. I was there around 6am in the morning and already there was Miko (Shrine Maiden), what an early bird!
This is the place to tie a bad luck after you draw a fortune. You can keep them with you if you got a good luck. This is a typical spectacle of shrine.
These are called Ema which you can write your wish to the god. I found a lot of Ema written in Chinese, Korean and English! Probably because of the popularity for the tourist.
Kaguraden. The roof shape gave me a strong impact. It is photogenic.
It was a beautiful and picturesque shrine in the tranquil groves with the white gravel street. The radiant wooden building blended really well into it.
If you are planning to travel Nagoya for a few days, I recommend to come on a sunny day.
Atsuta Jingu, the great history and its convention, what I loved the most was the refreshing and mystic atmosphere when you stepped into the shrine. It is hard to explain but felt wonderful. I really recommend you to come and experience by yourself.