Izumo Taisha 出雲大社
The Home of Shintoism
Known throughout Japan, Izumo Taisha shrine (literally Izumo Grand Shrine) is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Japan.
The shrine, which dates from the seventeenth century, occupies a very important place in the Shinto religion. It is here that we honor Okuninushi, founder of Japan divinity and master of spirits, he governs from Izumo. It was he who, according to legend, saved the little rabbit Inaba, who he dedicated a shrine to in the center of Matsue
Izumo Taisha is also the place where meet, every tenth lunar month (the month of November), all the deities of Shinto Japan, the kami. Hence this peculiarity of the Shimane region where November is called kamiarizuki, "the month of the gods", while in the rest of Japan, it is called Kannazuki, godless month.
The sanctuary is equipped to accommodate the hordes of kami (gods) and it is not advisable to take their place: do not borrow, for example, the center lane lined with pine trees leading to the sanctuary, it is reserved for them! Similarly, small rooms, jukusha were built near the main building to accommodate them.
This building dates back to it in the eighteenth century, it is remarkable for its height (24 m, the largest Shinto Building Japan) by its unique style, which soon became very popular throughout the archipelago.
The archaeological remains of the ancient temple, which measured according to testimony of the Heian period (794 - 1185) over 48 meters high. Several huge pillars of about one meter in diameter found around the temple also accredit the theory. Reproductions are visible next to the current pillars, to give visitors an overview of the proportions of the ancient temple.
Similarly, shimenawa sacred straw rope that adorns the entrance to the haiden, (the first building used by the faithful and for ceremonies), is also the largest in Japan.
Izumo Taisha attendance has steadily increased in recent years, and this recent popularity can be explained for those visiting are looking for love!
For Okuninushi is also a god of unions and marriage. Thus it is customary not to double tap in his hands as usual is done according to the Shinto ritual but four times, once for himself and once for the person with whom one wishes to have good relations.