Welcome to the Ise Grand Shrine, also know as Jingu. Without planning it, the visit to this very spiritual place ended up being one of the best highlights of a recent trip to Japan.
Jingu is located in the city of Ise, in Mie prefecture. This is a massive complex of shrines spread out over 5500 hectares of land filled with the calming greenery of ancient forests. Geku and Naiku are the two main shrines and the principal reason thousands of japanese make the pilgrimage to Ise.
I was fortunate to visit during the Shikinen Sengu (Year of Renewal) ceremony which occurs every 20 years and in which the old shrine is dismantled only to be build on an adjacent site. It was wonderful to see the simpleness and humbleness of the japanese devotion to Shinto. No matter what religious belief one might have, Ise Jingu is the perfect place to connect with your spiritual side while getting in touch with nature and its greatness.
If you are planning a visit to Japan please add this to your list…I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
For more information on the Shinto religion and Ise Jingu please visit http://www.isejingu.or.jp/shosai/english/index.htm