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Excursion 'ISE GRAND SHRINE: *GEKU* and *NAIKU*'


In this tour, you will participate “Hatsumode”, Shrine visit, in Ise Grand Shrine.

This tour allows you to visit both Inner & Outer Shrine.

Ise Grand Shrine is Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrine and dates back to the 3rd Century. It is considered to be the spiritual home of the Japanese and its national religion Shinto, and as such receives over six million pilgrims and tourists every year. Ise Grand Shrine also known as Ise Jingu is a complex of over 125 shrines.

The Outer Shrine is formally known as the Toyouke Daijingu, the Outer Shrine enshrines Toyouke Omikami, the Shinto deity and guardian of food, housing and clothing. Toyouke provides the food for the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, who is enshrined at the Inner Shrine, four kilometers to the south. The Outer Shrine is traditionally visited before the Inner Shrine. The Outer Shrine is believed to have been established over 1500 years ago, about 500 years after the Inner Shrine.

The inner shrine is believed to date from the 3rd Century and enshrines the sun goddess Amaterasu. Its main buildings resemble ancient rice granaries and are built in an architectural style that shows almost no influence from the Asian mainland because they predate the introduction of Buddhism.

In the wide premises of Okage Yokocho Shopping Street, 28 structures, which stood on the Ise pilgrimage road to Ise Jingu in the Edo period and Meiji period (1868 to 1912), are relocated and rebuilt. They include food stores, souvenir shops and a museum enabling visitors to enjoy tasting traditional food products in Mie and shopping local specialties.

Okage means “Indebted” or “Thankful” in English. Faithful people in Ise have thanked God for daily natural blessings and health. The area thus was named Okage Yokocho to symbolize local people’s spirit of thankfulness.

Please Note: the order of the itinerary may vary.The bus ride depends on the order of the itinerary. Space is limited, therefore we strongly suggest to book early. Due to travel season in Japan, heavy traffic jam will be expected. There is no place to exchange money in the port, preparing Japanese Yen is strongly recommended. The clear view of the landscape is subject to the weather conditions. Wear low-heeled, comfortable walking shoes .

*On 2nd January, heavy traffic jams and major congestion at Ise Grand Shrine is expected.

*At The Inner Shrine, it takes approx. 2 hours to queque for pray.

What we will see
  • City of Ise
  • Ise Grand Shrine *Ise-Geku and Ise-Naiku
  • Okage Yokocho

What we will do

We leave the Yokkaichi port behind us and head south towards the city of Ise in the Mie prefecture.

Our destination is the Ise Grand Shrine also known as Ise Jingo, a Shinto complex including over 100 temples and dedicated to the goddess Amaterasu.

The temple complex has a unique architectural style that continues to follow the archaic Japanese tradition, i.e. free from any Chinese or Asian influence, as all buildings are demolished and rebuilt identically every twenty years.

Divided into two main areas, the Outer (Geku) and Inner (_Naiku) shrines, this religious complex is considered the_ spiritual home of the Japanese* and of their national religion - Shintoism.

First, we visit Ise-Geku, the Outer Shrine dedicated to Toyouke-Omikami, goddess of prosperity and the household. Surrounded by green vegetation as dictated by Shinto tradition, it is the destination for numerous pilgrims. It may have been built 500 earlier than Naiku, but the date is uncertain.

We then enter the heart of the religious complex, the Ise-Naiku shrine dedicated to Amaterasu-Omikami, solar goddess and ancestor of the Emperor as well as the entire Japanese population. It is surrounded by a huge park into which the river Isuzu flows. It is the most important of the two shrines as it is home to the bronze mirror donated by Amaterasu to the first emperor and considered one of Japan’s sacred treasures.

We will also visit the Okage Yokocho area in front of the Ise shrine. It is a reproduction of the busy shrine city during the final years of the Edo Period (1603-1868).

Shops and restaurants have been set up inside the original buildings which were moved and rebuilt in this location on purpose to host traditional arts and crafts.

Strolling among the houses, we can relish in Japanese culture by enjoying culinary delicacies, buying handicrafts or watching cultural exhibitions and traditional events held throughout the year.

When would you like to leave?
Adult US$ 105.00
Child (3-13 old) US$ 78.75
Length 7 1/2 hours approximately
Level Moderate Moderate
Type Sightseeing Sightseeing
Meal not included Meal not included
What you need to know
  • Itinerary sequence may vary.
  • The length of the coach transfer depends on the itinerary.
  • We recommend that you book early because only a limited number of places are available.
  • Traffic jams are to be expected during tourist season.
  • Money cannot be exchanged in the port, we recommend buying Japanese currency beforehand.
  • Visibility during the tour is subject to weather conditions.
  • Comfortable shoes with a low heel are recommended.
  • Traffic jams and heavy crowds are to be expected at the Iso shrine on January 2nd.
  • The queue to pray takes approximately 2 hours in the Inner Shrine.