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Japanese Legends Tour

Mythology and Shrines

Shrines are places where Shinto is practiced. ‘Shinto’ Literally means ‘The way of the gods’. It is a teaching that Japanese people learned from coexisting with nature. Shinto is not a religion but a practice of revering nature and thanking her for the many blessings. The Japanese believed that Kami ‘god’ resides in all forms of nature and paid respect to it, eventually building shrines at the places where nature was deified. The notion of Kami ‘god’ was in the olden times thought of as ‘above’. Believing that nature was above human intellect. In Japan’s oldest written book, the ‘Kojiki’, there are stories told of various Kami such as creation Kami, fire kami, mountain Kami and many more stated in its pages. 

Travel to the places where the stories originated and immerse yourself in the legends of Japan

The Deities

Pt.1- Izanagi & Izanami

The Story

The Creation of Japan

Before the formation of the world, when the land was formless the first deities (kami)came into being at Takamanohara. The kami Ame-no-minaka-nushi assigned his descendants, Izanagi (male kami) and Izanami (female kami) to bring order and structure to the muddy shapeless world, mixed within the ocean waters. The two stirred the ocean together with the spear. As they lifted the point of the spear up a drop fell from it and formed the first island named Onogoro. Izanagi and Izanami erected a large pillar on the island, they circled the pillar, Izanagi turning to the left and Izanami walked toward the right. They circled the pillar and when they met halfway, Izanami spoke out to Izanagi and gave birth to an infant ‘Hiruko’ which was not fully formed, so it was put on a raft and drifted out to sea. It is believed that Hiruko drifted towards the west seas and later on came to be known as Ebisu god of prosperity. They circled the pillar again and this time Izanagi spoke out to Izanami and consummated their union. From the second union, Izanami gave birth to many islands, from Awaji to Shikoku, Kyushu Honshu, and so forth.

The Place

Awaji Island

Awaji Island has had many connections with the Japanese Imperial Family since ancient times. The island is known as “the region of food,” as it offered numerous ingredients to the Imperial Court. From livestock to vegetables and marine products, Awaji Island is a treasure trove of gourmet food. There are also many hots prings located on Awaji island.

Access

By Car : About 1 hour and a half drive from Osaka by expressway. Approx. 100km from Osaka central.
Train + Highway : Form Hanshin Umeda Station to Awaji IC. 1,050yen / 1way (2hrs.)
Highway Bus : Form Hankyu Umeda bus terminal to Awaji IC. 1,250yen / 1way (67min.)

Spots related to Mythology

 

Enoshima

One of the Islands believed to be ‘Onogoroshima’, the first island created by Izanagi and Izanami.

Onokoroshima Jinja

The deities enshrined at Onogoroshima shrine – Izanagi no mikoto, Izanami no mikoto, Kukuruhime no mikoto.
Oracles and Amulets – Safe birth, Harmonious marriage, Matchmaking, Health & longevity.

Iwakusu Jinja

The deities enshrined at Onogoroshima shrine – Izanagi no mikoto, Izanami no mikoto, Kotoshironushi no mikoto (Hiruko).
Oracles and Amulets – Safe delivery (birth), Harmonious marriage.

This shrine is a well-known energy spot.

Local Food and products