Atsuta Shrine [熱田神宮]

Ichi-no-Torii gate in Atsuta Shrine

Water ablution pavilion in Atsuta Shrine

Atsuta Shrine ("Atsuta Jingû" in Japanese) is a Shinto shrine located about 6 km south-southeast of Nagoya station, and is one of high-ranked shrines in Japan.

It is unknown when this shrine was founded.

Japanese myth has the following story.

A hero Yamato-Takeru conquered eastern Japan using sacred Kusanagi Sword in the 1st century.
He was the Crown Prince of the 12th Emperor. (Now is in the reign of the 126th Emperor.)

On the way to return back to western Japan, he married with Miyasuhime-no-mikoto in current Nagoya area.
After that, he entrusted his sword to her and went into battle again.

But the unarmed fighter was lost, and died around the area in current northern Mie Prefecture.

His wife built a shrine, and enshrined Kusanagi Sword in the shrine.
The shrine is Atsuta Shrine.

Kusanagi Sword was one of three sacred treasures given from the Sun Goddess (Amaterasu-Oomikami) who was one of the first gods in Japan.

The other treasures are Yata-no-kagami mirror and Yasakani-no-magatama necklace.
Yata-no-kagami is in Ise Shrine, and Yasakani-no-magatama is in Imperial Palace.

But these treasures are never open to the public.

When the current Emperor was enthroned in 2019, these three treasures were taken over from the former Emperor in the celemony and the scene was broadcast on TV.
But we saw only the boxes including the treasures in the scene and no one saw the real treasures.

By the way, in 1185, Emperor Antoku (1178-1185, the 81st Emperor) was only 7 years old but Taira Clan set him as the symbol of the government.

Corrupted Taira Clan was beaten by Minamoto Clan which was a political enemy of Taira and founded the next Kamakura Government, and the emperor drowned himself in the sea with the three sacred treasures.

After that, it is said that two treasures were raised from the sea bottom, but only Kusanagi Sword was not found.
So it is said that a sword was presented from Ise Shrine in 1210 and it replaced the lost Kusanagi Sword.

Front shrine in Atsuta Shrine

Main shrine behind front shrine in Atsuta Shrine

This shrine is about 600 meters from north to south and about 300 meters from east to west.
It is in the big city, but this shrine is covered with forest.

More than 2.2 million worshippers visit here during the first three days of the New Year, so it is one of the central shrines in this region.

Many of the buildings in this shrine were destroyed by US air raid in World War II in 1945.
Current main shrine was rebuilt in 1955.

The entrance gates are on the east side and the west side.
We walk on the approaches to the main shrine for 300 to 350 meters.

Great camphor tree over 1,000 years old in Atsuta Shrine

Chickens in Atsuta Shrine

By the approach, there is a great camphor tree.
The tree over 1,000 years old is about 20 meters tall and measures 7 meters around.

It is a sacred tree of the shrine, and a few sacred snakes live in the tree.

And some checkens live in the shrine, so you may meet them in the precincts.

Atsuta Shrine

How to get here

By Meitetsu railway, get off at Jingu-mae station.
About 7 minutes from Meitesu-Nagoya, about 30 to 40 minutes from Chubu Airport.
The east gate is in front of Jingum-mae station.

The nearest station of subway to the west gate is Jingu-Nishi (M27 Meijo Line).

Hotels around Atsuta Shrine

Hotels around Atsuta Shrine

Other Tourist Attractions in Nagoya

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