Ise Grand Shrine is known to many as Japan's most sacred Shinto shrine. It is dedicated to the goddess Amaterasu-omikami (Inner Shrine) and Toyo'uke-no-umikami.
The shrine complex is visited by an average of six million pilgrims and tourists every year. The shrine is actually a huge complex of 125 shrines, but it is centered on the two main shrines, Inner Shrine (Naiku) and Outer Shrine (Geku).
The shrine according to CNN, is surrounded by a lush, sacred green forest covering an area of 5,500 hectares. In the whole area, about 90 hectares remain untouched since the shrine's foundation. Some of the area are used to grow trees that will be used as materials for shrine construction.
In the Naiku, you will see different sanctuaries wherein you can pray to a kami for a specific purpose, namely, Kaguraden for happiness, Mishine-no-mikura and Kazahinomi-no-miya, for good harvest, and Aramatsuri-no-miya (the main shrine dedicated for Amaterasu-Omikami) for all your prayers. There's also a river where you can also uniquely purify yourself befre proceeding to the sanctuaries. There are also rest houses where you can stop, and small cafes where you can take refreshments.Souvenirs can also be bought there, or outside Naiku.
The Inner Shrine can be accessed by a bus from Iseshi Station, Ujiyamada Station , or in the Outer Shrine. Get-off to Naiku-Mae bus stop.
The shrine is open from dawn to dusk. Before you enter the shrine, make sure you purified yourself at the temizusha (water house). Wash your hands and rinse your mouth. While in the shrine, you must respect the place. Avoid making unnecessary noise and take photos from respectable distances. Also, do not eat or drink except if you are in the designated areas.
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