Ise Grand Shrine

By: Paige T.


These magnificent shrines are located in the city of Ise in the Mie prefecture of Japan's southern island Honshu. Surrounding it is the "Sacred Forest of Ise Jingu." It's only 60 miles southeast of Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. The Grand Shrine is next to the Isuzu River and near Mt. Kamiji and Mt. Shimaji. Crossing the Uji Bridge just passing the Torii gate is an easy way to get there.
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Here is a tourist map of the Grand Shrines
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Here is a map of Japan. Ise is the city highlighted.


There are two major Shinto shrines, Naiku and Geku. At each shrine there is a main building designed as a thatched hut. The shrines are made with unpainted cypress wood in ancient Japanese style. Most of the location is blocked by wooden fences. There are many other buildings including gardens, gravel pathways, workshops, storehouses, treasuries, and the Torii gate. The shrine is surrounded by 90 hectares (222.395 acres) of forest.


Cyrptomeria trees and the forest itself was already sacred before the establishment. Until one day when a very special tree was cut down. People wanted to keep part of the special tree to retain its sacredness, so they made it a post where the building will first be constructed. At the time Emperor Temmu established it as a Shinto Shrine of Imperial Japan where they first built the shrine on site. The first rebuilding ceremony took place in 692 AD under Empress Jito. Naiku (inner shrine) was found in 4 BC while Geku (outer shrine) was found in 680 AD.


The Grand Shrine is dedicated to gods and spirits of Shinto beliefs. One thing that is sacred about the shrine is roosters. Roosters can be seen wandering around the shrine. The roosters is associated with the sun goddess Amaterasu. A rooster will crow at dawn and it plays an important role in her story. People that have visited the shrine say they can best connect to the kami, the spirits, gods, and goddesses of Shinto beliefs.

In Japan the mysterious forces of nature (ke) are believed to mixed into disappearing particles and formless space to create Mononoke. Mononoke is seen to be mixed in trees and stones. Which kind of has to do with the trees surround the shrine. The shrine is dedicated to the Geku to the Goddess Toyouke Omikami. At the shrine the holiest and most mysterious forces remain hidden at all times.

Some Fun Facts!!!

There are many interesting things about the shrine. For one it's home to the Sacred Mirror. It's located in Naiku. Another thing is the roosters, but most of them can only be seen around Naiku.

Works Cited

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Witcome, Christopher, L.C.E. “Ise Shrine, Japan.” Sacred Places. Sweet Briar College, n.d. Web. 5 Feb. 2016. <>.