A short trip to Shimane: Izumo Taisha
Continuing the exploration in Shimane, I departed for Izumo, a beautiful city in the eastern part of the province.
The first and foremost destination when coming here is Izumo Taisha (出雲大社) - a shrine located at the foot of Yakumo mountain, surrounded by fluffy white clouds, sneakily just like the name "out of the clouds", with the solemnity and peacefulness of one of Japan's most famous god-worshipping shrines.
People believed that all the gods of Japan's gather here in October every year. Therefore, October in Izumi was called 神在月 - Kamiaridzuki (month that has gods) and in other region was called 神無月 - Kannadzuki (no-god month).
The main god worshipped in izumo was Okuninushi no Okami. Legends has it that this was the man who created Japan and used to rule Izumo. This was also the god of happiness, luck and connection, or in Japanese Enmusubi.
Walking through the Torii made of copper at the main entrance, it would take 5 minute to walk on the stone path leading to the shrine, the sides were all hundreds-year-old pine trees. Every visitor would have to wash their hands at Harai-no-yashiro so that their body would be ethereal before coming into the main shrine.
The main shrine is at 13.5m high and was made with Japanese cypress wood. If you stood at the center and took a look, you would realize the shrine was placed a bit eccentrically to the left. This helped visitors be able to also see the view of the shrines inside.
What impressed me the most was the giant cordage attached to the roof of the shrine, in Japanese it was called 結び縄. After the special ritual that was exclusive here: "2 bows, 4 claps, 1 bow", everyone would throw a 5-yen coin on the "cordage". It was believed that if the coin didn't fall off, your wish would come true.
Speaking of Izumo Taisha, Japanese also believed that this is the only place that had the God of Fate. "Fate" here was not just to pray for the romance in love, but also for the guide in other great encounters such as the relationship at work or with friends.
Hence, this place always attracted numerous visitors every year to come and pray for goodness.
Surrounding the main shrine were other shrines that worshipped the different gods in gods religion (God of Luck, Art - Martial Art, Nursing,...) that you could spend some more time to explore.
★ Related information:
- Opening time:
March - October: 06:00 - 20:00
November - February: 06:30 - 20:00
- It takes 10 minutes from the bus stop to the shrine and you would have to climb a hill so choose a suitable outfit for yourself. Outside the shrine there are many local grocery shops, café,... visitors can choose for themselves a cozy place to enjoy the street view around the shrine.
- Apart from drawing lots, you can also write your wishes on small wooden board called 絵馬 (Ema) and hang at the shrine.
Wish you had a relax and peaceful time visiting Izumo Taisha.
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