Spotlight: Udo Jingu (Miyazaki)

Miyazaki prefecture (on the island of Kyushu) is known for its long coastline, so it's no surprise that the Udo Shrine sits squarely in the middle of that coastline, facing out to the waves. On a drive of the Kyushu coast, this makes for an excellent stop. The Udo Shrine (or Udo Jingu) is a... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Ise Shrine (Mie Prefecture)

Welcome to Extreme Shrine Makeover 2013! Ise Jingu, come on down! Sure, I might be channeling (pun totally intended) reality TV a bit too much, but this is a big year for Japan's beloved Ise Shrine. Every two decades, the 1500 year old Ise Shrine gets torn down and completely rebuilt in its entirety. And 2013 is the start/end... Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Shinto and Shrines

Temple? Shrine? Shrine? Temple? There are few greater perplexing questions for travelers to Japan than how on earth (or in heaven 🙂 ) to refer to the myriad religious structures dotting the landscape. The word Shinto, when translated poetically, means "the way of the gods". It's Japan's native religion, though not an exclusive one. Many Japanese claim... Continue Reading →

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