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“Ise, Amaterasu, mirror”

Ise Shrine (Ise Jingu)
Ranked #1 of 88 things to do in Ise
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level 6 Contributor
70 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“Ise, Amaterasu, mirror”
Reviewed June 16, 2012

This is The Jingu that reigns supreme over all other jingu in Japan.
This is the Jingu that is said that housed the Sacred Mirror which lured Amaterasu from her self imposed exile in a cave. (its a long story, if you are interested in Japanese mythology, read it up)
The Japanese believes that a spirit resides in everything, mirror, nature and all. The spirit is often refer to as Kami.
Shinto is a religion that worships that belief and is indigenous to the Japanese.
The Jingu in Ise is dedicated to the worship of Amaterasu, Goddess of Sun and the universe.
The Japanese believes the Emperors of Japan are direct descendents of Amaterasu.
To reach this sacred ground, alight at Jr Iseshi. From there, the outer Jingu is easily accessible on foot.
I would recommend a night stay as it would be a waste to rush through this place. It has much to offer in terms of sight and shopping.
From the Geku, the Naiku is about 6 km away, walkable if you are not carrying your bags and luggages and If you are not in a rush for time.
I opted for the walk, it is free and I can use the walk as an excuse to eat as much as I want later.
You will not be able to see the actual shrine as it is too sacred. The Shrine is fenced and security patrol the site to ensure no one tries to flaunt the rule.
From what I can peek and derived from my peeking, the real Jingu is nothing frivolous or pretentious. So simple and basic is the structure that it calls your attention. Brown and gold, wood and thatched reeds. No colorful ornaments, no elaborate carvings to feed our visual greed. Only the calmness of the nature as one with the Shrine.
The Naiku is rebuilt every 20 years as a part of the Shinto belief in death and renewal and the impermanence of life. The spot is chosen next to the site of the current shrine.
After you had your fill of sacredness, you can next proceed to the shopping streets where you must try the Ise Udon. It is a refreshing change from the normal udon. By the way, you cannot find Ise udon that taste like Ise udon in other parts of Japan.
Pearl is also a must buy item. Cheap (not dirt cheap but still a steal) and beautiful..
I would definitely visit this place again, for the udon, the pearl and of course the Sacred mirror in the Jingu.

Visited February 2012
Thank bakatori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Nagoya, Japan
Level 6 Contributor
187 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Best place for Hatsumode, the first temple visit for the New Year”
Reviewed June 11, 2012

Visiting one of Japan's most sacred places beginning of the year traditional welcoming of the new year was a very wonderful experience...But word of caution too is that visitors at this season would be at its peak...The place is so sacred you are not even allowed to take pictures even the gate of main temples...

Visited January 2012
Thank NeilHTG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver, bc
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Beautiful Grounds”
Reviewed May 13, 2012

Went here during Golden Week with thousands of other people. The gardens are stunning. Very peaceful. I'm glad we went.

Visited May 2012
Thank piscesrmt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Pure and heavenly place.”
Reviewed February 21, 2012

My first visit to Ise Shrine and it was drizzling. It was a cold weather when I arrived at the outer shrine and offered a prayer. Spend an hour walking and admiring the structure and landscape. After that, adjourn to the inner shrine and continue visiting the different shrines at the surrounding. The trees are amazingly tall and unique. The feeling of you've entered a heavenly place which is filled with peace and calmness. A place worth visiting but be prepare with a good pair of shoes as most of the walk ways are in gravels.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank rakugosan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Nice visit, not as meaningful for a foreign visitor”
Reviewed January 19, 2012

We visited Ise Shrine and had a nice day. I learned a lot about the area because of a Japanese friend who knew the history of the site (it's one of the oldest and most sacred Shinto sites). It was fascinating to learn about the mythology behind the different shrines on the site, but unfortunately there was no English signage at most of them, so if my friend hadn't been there I would have been in the dark. It was a very meaningful visit for my Japanese friends, but because I am not of the Shinto faith, the site held much less appeal for me than many of the other shrines I've visited that had better English signage.

Visited February 2011
2 Thank atticgirl7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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