“Seven times to Ise, three times to Kumano” This saying explains how often to visit Ise and Kumano. Since long ago, these words have been used to describe the very faithful or to explai ...Further Details...
See Japan's oldest shrine
The Hana-no-Iwaya-jinja Shrine is located in Mie Prefecture, Kumano. It is dedicated to the mother of the Japanese gods "Izanami-no-mikoto" and her son the fire god "Kagu-tsuchi no-mikoto". It is said to be Japan's oldest shrine and is a very popular spot where people come from all over the country to visit. The principal object of worship is a massive shrine towering in the back of the temple, and first time visitors are often overwhelmed by its majestic appearance. The shrine has remained a very popular site for worship for countless years and is a place where you can experience the world of Japanese mythology. It is part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range as of 2004 and is registered as World Cultural Heritage. Twice a year in February and October there is a festival. During the festival, a massive 170 meter long rope is suspended from the 45-meter high rock to a sacred pine tree. This festival is called the Otsunakake Shinji (Rope Changing Ritual). This ritual has been performed for a very long time, and offers a glimpse into the distant past of Japan.
By public transit, take the JR Kii Main Line to Kumano City Station (熊野市駅) and from there take the Mie Kotsu bus, and get off at the Hana-no-Iwaya station (花の窟). By car, take the Ise Expressway to Omiya Odai IC (大宮大台 IC) and drive 3 hours from there. It is located along Japan National Route 42 (国道42号線). Free parking.
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