Shimane: The Land of Mythology Izumo Taisha Shrine and a beach that welcomes the gods


Izumo Taisha Shrine is one of the most ancient Shinto shrines in Japan. This famous shrine to the god of marriage and the god of wealth is mentioned in Kojiki, the oldest chronicle of Japan. At this shrine, the main deity is Okuninushi (Ōkuninushi-no-ookami), the god that ordinary people call Daikoku-sama. In the holy precinct, with Yakumoyama Mountain as a backdrop, fresh and invigorating air flows and this dignified main shrine, the shrine architecture, stands solemnly.

Inasa-no-hama Beach, which lies about 1 km west of the Izumo Taisha Shrine, is known as the playground of myths; at the Kamimukae-sai Festival, held on 10th October of the lunar calendar, it is said that 8 million gods of Japan come from far and wide and leave their home shrines to gather on this beach. It is said that these gods travel to the shrine from the beach via a road known as Kamimukae-no-michi (a road to welcome the gods); and, for seven days, they discuss ‘Kakuretaru-shinji (secret rituals)’ for the coming year, such as marriages, deaths and births. Kakuretaru-shinji is a ritual that is enacted to tie an invisible knot, not only to join a man and a woman together, but also to secure connections between important ties in life, such as the bonds between nations and people or people and jobs.

Incidentally, at the Izumo Taisha Shrine a basic means of praying involves: “Twice bowing, four times clapping and one-time bowing”. From Inasa-no-hama Beach, you can walk through kamimukae-no-michi to the shrine’s main gate, Seidamari-no-torii (the gateway of Seidamari, a large playhouse) to honden (the mail hall), while feeling a sense of reverence for and connection to ancient times.

IZUMO TAISHA (Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine)

Category: Nature, Shimane, Shimane, Shrines, Topscroll, Vol.19