Atsuta Shrine

The Atsuta Shrine is said to enshire the “Five Gods of Atsuta” and it houses one of the three great relics of Japanese history: Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (grass cutting sword). I visited this shrine several weeks ago but had to wait until I could research the Shinto religion a bit before posting.

My knowledge is limited (to what wikipedia tells me) but it is my understanding that Shintoism is the worship of divine spirits called kami. There are natural places that are deemed sacred and provide a means of mortals communicating with Kami.

Before offering up prayers to kami one should purify oneself. I tried to get a picture of this purification area without disturbing the worshipers. I hate being that gaijin. But I find the whole process fascinating.

This tree is one such place. The Japanese is still beyond me. (it does not talking about eating or the days of the week. Which is the only kanji I know) but many people offered up prayers or wishes here.

A majority of the park was super busy. It was one of the last Sundays of summer vacation. But I did find a small secluded pond that was unbelievably beautiful and peaceful. I left the shrine very calm and slightly mosquito bitten. I suggest bug spray or do as the Japanese do and buy stylish bug repellent bracelets.

I love that I can observe the Shinto practices without intruding (hopefully). I love learning about beliefs from other places and wish I spoke enough Japanese have a discussion about religion with one of these worshipers. If I may be so bold, I think part of the problem with the world is that we aren’t properly curious about other people’s beliefs without wanting to change them. I don’t practice Shintoism but I can appreciate the beautiful and peace of it without sacrificing my own values.

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