The Grand Shrines of Ise
This is the Shinto Shrine with 2,000-year history, and the precinct is surrounded with clean atmosphere. People paid a visit to the shrines as ‘once in lifetime’ in old days. At present over 8 million people visit the shrines annually. The Grand Shrines of Ise is the generic name of 125 Shinto Shrines centering on the Inner Shrine consecrated to the ancestral deity of the imperial family of Japan and the Outer Shrine to the deity for food and grains. Such architectural style and techniques unique to Japanese Shinto shrines as Uji Bridge across the Isuzu River, the large Torii gate, the main sanctuary enclosed with fourfold fences, and the hall of the sacred dances with half-hipped roof are splendid. It is customary that all the shrine buildings are rebuilt anew every 20 years in the Shikinensengu (periodic shrine reconstrucion) ceremony. Currently the preparation is underway for the ceremony to be held in 2013.