Katori Jingu Shrine [Chiba]

【Katori Jingu Shrine summary】

Katori Jingu Shrine is the oldest shrine in Shimofusa Province, with a history of more than 2,600 years, and is known as the head shrine of the 400 or so Katori shrines in Japan. It is also known as the head shrine of Katori Jingu, one of the 400 shrines in Japan. It is one of the three shrines in the eastern part of Japan, together with Kashima Jingu Shrine and Ikisu Shrine, both in Ibaraki Prefecture. Until the Edo period, there were only three shrines in Japan that could claim to be Shinto shrines. The three shrines are Ise Jingu, Kashima Jingu, and Katori Jingu.

Katori Jingu Shrine enshrines the deities Futsunushi no Mikoto and Takemikazuchi no Mikoto as its deities. According to legend, Emperor Jinmu received an imperial command to this site at the recommendation of Amaterasu Omikami during the period of the handover of the country in Japanese mythology. This made Katori Jingu an important shrine in the creation of the Japanese nation.

【Katori Jingu Shrine road approaching a shrine】

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The souvenir shop at the entrance to the approach is crowded, and there are many dining options for both children and adults.

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After walking along the approach to the souvenir shops, you will see a red torii (gateway to the shrine). During the cherry blossom season, the cherry blossoms and the torii gate make a wonderful photo spot.

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Once you pass through the red torii gate, you are finally in the sacred area and the air changes. The fresh greenery was beautiful and the sunlight filtering through the trees was pleasant.

【Katori Jingu Shrine Tower gate and main shrine】

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After a five-minute walk through a cool grove of gently curving trees, you will pass through a stone torii gate and climb stone steps to be greeted by a brightly colored vermilion main gate.

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Passing through the vermilion-colored tower gate, you will be greeted by a large black-lacquered worship hall. The hiwadabuki roof is beautiful. The main hall and the tower gate were built in 1700 (13th year of the Genroku era) and are Important Cultural Properties, built by order of Tsunayoshi, the 5th shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Kaijyu Budokyo, a national treasure, is one of the three most famous mirrors in Japan.

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The large sacred cedar tree next to the hall of worship was also a highlight.

【Katori Jingu Shrine Kanameishi】

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Kanameishi is a sacred stone that is believed to calm earthquakes. It is said that part of a large stone buried deep in the ground to sting a large catfish, which was believed to cause earthquakes, appears above ground. It is also said to be connected underground with the keystone of Kashima Shrine. It is said that when Mitsukuni Mito visited the shrine in 1684, he had the stone dug out, but was unable to see the root. (I assume that the stones around the yomyoishi are money-offerings, but what is the significance of this?)

【Katori Jingu Shrine rear shrine (located behind the main shrine, but dedicated to the same deity)】

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A short walk from the main shrine of Katori Jingu, rear shrine is located in a quiet area surrounded by trees. There are very few visitors to the shrine.

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The deity is the same as the main shrine, Kyotsunushi no Mikoto, but it is his spirit that is enshrined here.

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It is said that the building was constructed by receiving the old lumber used for the ceremonial relocation of the Ise Jingu Shrine. The roof of the shrine building is decorated with four even-numbered katsuoboku (horizontal trees above the ridge) and the “sengi” (crossed trees) are “uchihigaki” (horizontally shaved at the tips). It is strange.

【Katori Jingu Shrine Nearby attractions】

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【Katori Jingu Shrine grace (of God)】

For good luck, traffic, and disaster prevention

【Katori Jingu Shrine Access】

Manager’s Comments

The path from the parking lot to the torii gate is a pleasant sightseeing spot with stores selling souvenirs such as mitarashi dumplings. It was a place that made me realize that this is a shrine with a long history that has carried the title of “Miya” since ancient times. I think it would be fulfilling to visit the shrine together with Kashima Jingu Shrine.

my opinion

Katori Jingu Shrine

1697 Katori, Katori-shi, Chiba 287-0017 Japan

※Parking lot for worshippers available

Get off at JR Sawara Station and take a 10-minute cab ride.

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