Ise Grand Shrine, or Ise Jingu, is considered to be Japan’s most sacred shrine. Jingu is not a single place, but a huge complex of shrines through the area centered around Geku (the outer shrine) and Naiku (the inner shrine).
This is the goshuin for Geku. Like a lot of older shrines’ goshuin, it is very simple.
This goshuin is from Geku. It’s a fairly short walk straight out from Iseshi Station. This outer shrine was established during the 5th century. Geku houses Touyoke Omikami, the god of agriculture and commerce.
Geku and Naiku both were designed and built before the introduction of Buddhism to Japan, so the architecture is pure, old-style Shinto. Ise Jingu is also special in that a new Naiku and Geku are built every 20 years and the old one torn down. If you’re lucky, you can visit when two shrines are standing at the same time.
The wood from the old shrines are recycled in future reconstructions and also sent out to other shrines to be used.
We weren’t lucky enough to see two shrines, but it was a beautiful day. After we finished out visit at Geku, we stopped at a small shop to try akafuku. Akakfuku are a regional specialty. It’s mochi with anko red bean paste on the outside. It’s amazingly good.
I also got a new goshuincho there. Only the purple Ise Grand Shrine goshuincho is available at Geku.
Official Site: http://www.isejingu.or.jp/en/index.html