Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ise Jingu at Dawn

One month after the New Year, Ise Jingu is still overflowed with visitors from all over Japan.  For centuries, the shrine has always been the destination of once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage.   The popularity is even more enormous this year because it is believed that the divine power is the strongest now.

The Shikinen Sengu ceremony just took place in October 2013.  In each of Naiku (inner precinct) and Geku (outer precinct), the buildings get demolished and reconstructed in the same form every 20 years.  It is said that when the god moves in to the new building, the holy power is renewed.  

The place is packed in daytime as more people try come to Ise Jingu to pray and be heard while the holy power is intensified.  If you want to appreciate the calm atmosphere of the shrine, go before sunrise.  In winter it is still dark as night (and cold), but when you arrive at the shrine, it is warmly lit up and welcomes you in silence.