Takachiho Shrine   高千穂神社

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Takachiho Jinja shrine, amid a forest of cedar trees.

A performance of kagura at Takachiho shrine.

Dance by Night

At this famous shrine, the dance ritual known as kagura is still performed, the origins of which are shrouded in myth.

In Takachiho town center , pavilions stand behind old cedars.

A visit after dark is preferable, because that is when the shrine hosts performances of kagura. This dance is probably the oldest in Japan, mixing legendary elements (see the sanctuary Ama-no-Iwato Jinja) and ancient agricultural celebrations. The kagura is still practiced today at some shrines. Actors wear masks and perform stories from ancient Japanese mythology. 

This is called yokagura, "night kagura" and Takachiho is known throughout Japan as the place of origin for this dance.

Performances at the shrine are every night at 8pm (500 yen/1 hour show - in Japanese) 

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