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伊勢神宮外宮 - Geku of Ise Grand Shrine // 2010.02.10 - 1 | by Tamago Moffle
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伊勢神宮外宮 - Geku of Ise Grand Shrine // 2010.02.10 - 1

Ise Grand Shrine (伊勢神宮 Ise Jingū) is a Shinto shrine dedicated to goddess Amaterasu-ōmikami, located in the city of Ise in Mie prefecture, Japan. Officially known simply as Jingū (神宮), Ise Jingū is in fact a shrine complex composed of a large number of Shinto shrines centered on two main shrines, Naikū (内宮) and Gekū (外宮).

 

The Inner Shrine, Naikū (also officially known as "Kotai Jingu"), is located in the town of Uji-tachi, south of central Ise City, and is dedicated to the worship of Amaterasu-ōmikami. The Outer Shrine, Gekū (also officially known as "Toyouke Daijingu"), is located about six kilometers from Naikū and dedicated to Toyouke no ōmikami, the deity of agriculture and industry. Besides Naikū and Gekū, there are an additional 123 Shinto shrines in Ise City and the surrounding areas, 91 of them connected to Naikū and 32 to Gekū.

 

Purportedly the home of the Sacred Mirror, the shrine is arguably one of Shinto's holiest and most important sites. Access to both sites is strictly limited, with the common public allowed to see little more than the thatched roofs of the central structures, hidden behind four tall wooden fences. The High Priest or Priestess of Ise Shrine must come from the Japanese Imperial Family, and is responsible for watching over the Shrine.

 

The two main shrines of Ise are joined by a pilgrimage road that passes through the old entertainment district of Furuichi. The region around the shrines consists of the Ise-Shima National Park and numerous other holy and historic sites including the 'wedded rocks' Meoto Iwa, and the Saiku (the site of the Heian period imperial residence).

 

(by Wikipedia - Ise Grand Shrine : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ise_Shrine)

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Taken on February 12, 2010