Atsuta Shrine / 熱田神宮(愛知県・名古屋市)

2013.05.15 [PLACES,WHAT'S NEW]


Ranking second only to the Great Shrine of Ise, the ancient Atsuta Shrine in Atsuta Ward of Nagoya City
dates back almost 2,000 years, and is dedicated to the “Five Great Gods of Atsuta”, all of whom are 
connected with the sacred sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi, or “The Grass Cutting Sword”.  The sword, 
one of the Three Imperial Regalia of Japan, is likened to Britain’s “Excalubur”.  According to the eighthth 
Century compiled kojiki, the oldest extant chronicle of Japan, the god, Susanoo found the sword in the tail 
of an eight headed dragon he had slain. The sword was later presented to the goddess Amaterasu, and later presented to the warrior Yamato Takeru, who used it’s magical powers to cut his way out of a grass fire 
started by a treacherous enemy warlord, hence it’s moniker, the Grass Cutting Sword.








 The Shinto Shrine is believed to have been established to house the legendary sword, and is said to
safeguard  it for the Imperial household. Despite having such a treasure, the shrine refuses to display
the sword. Much of the shrine was destroyed by the fire-bombings of World War Two, but was re-built.  
Atsuta Shrine’s treasure hall houses over 6,000 relics, about 170 of which are designated Important
Cultural Properties, and a National Treasure designated dagger. The Atsuta Jingu Museum preserves 
and displays a variety of historic items, including sacred garments, manuscripts, masks, mirrors, 
furniture, and a large collection of swords. Displays are changed monthly.






Atsuta Shrine draws over 9 million visitors annually, and is particularly busy over the first few days
of January,when it receives many worshippers looking to make New Years prayers.




Atsuta Shrine hosts over 70 ceremonies and festivals every year, some of the main events being;


Hatsu-Ebisu (January 5): Dedicated to Ebisu for good fortune in business.


Yodameshi Shinji (January 7): Foretells rainfall for the coming year, as determined by the amount
of water collected in a pot below the eastern Treasure House.


Touka Shinji (January 11): A variation of the Heian Period (10-12th Century)
Imperial Court ceremony Touka-no-sechie, praying for strong crop yields. 


Hosha Shinji (January 15): Ceremony involving shooting arrows at a wooden target.


Bugaku Shinji (May 1): An 8th Century Heian Period ceremonial dance performed out of doors.


Eyoudo Shinji (May 4): A festival commemorating the return of the sacred sword .


Shinyo-Togyo Shinji (May 5): A festival to offer prayers for the security of the Imperial palace.
A portable Mikoshi shrine is carried in a procession to the Western Gate.


Rei Sai (June 5): Various portable mikoshi shrines are carried along the approaches to the shrine,
and at night, sets of 365 traditional lanterns light up the gates. Exhibitions of judo, swordsmanship
andarchery are presented for the gratification of the deities.


Atsuta Shrine is an oasis of green in metropolitan Nagoya city, covering 200,000 M2 . Of note,
amongst ancient trees, ponds and smaller shrines are the remains of the Nobunaga Bei, a 7.4m
high tile topped mud wall donated and built to protect the shrine by the warlord Oda Nobunaga
following his victory at the Battle of Okehazama in 1560.





3 minutes walk from Meitetsu Railways Jingumae Station,

8 minutes walk from JR Atsuta Station

a short walk from Meijo Line subway, Jingu Nishi station.

Easily accessed by car, the shrine offers free parking on the East side entrance, near the Meitetsu station.


View Larger Map


WEB Site: (Japanese)


ADDRESS:1-1-1 Jingu, Atsuta-ku Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 456-0031 Japan




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