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Postcards from Japan: The sacred Ise-Jingu Shrine

Postcards from Japan: The sacred Ise-Jingu Shrine
By Seamus Kearney

<p>Our postcard this week comes to you from one of Japan’s most sacred places, the Ise-Jingu Shrine. </p> <div style="width:280px; float:right; margin:20px;"> <div style="border-top: #333 3px double; border-bottom: #333 3px double; font-size:12px; padding-top:16px;"> <h3>Key facts about Japan:</h3> <ul> <li>It is an island nation in East Asia</li> <li>The population is more than 127m</li> <li>Land area is just under 378,000 km2</li> <li>The country’s currency is the Yen</li> <li>Main religions are Shinto & Buddhism</li> </ul> </div> </div> <p>This large tranquil setting attracts millions of Shinto pilgrims and visitors every year.</p> <p>Many rituals are performed here, including prayers for world happiness.</p> <p>Euronews’ Seamus Kearney reported: “One of the incredible things about the shrine is that every 20 years all of the spiritually significant structures, including the temples, bridges and gates, are demolished and totally rebuilt.”</p> <p>The next rebuilding ceremonies are set to begin in 2033.</p> <p>Satoru Otowa, a priest at the Ise-Jingu Shrine, explained to Postcards why the site is so special. </p> <p>“Ise-Jingu is said to be the spiritual home for the Japanese,” he said. </p> <p>“As we have beautiful nature everywhere, surrounded by sea, rivers and mountains, the Gods live here.”</p> <p>The site dates back more than 2,000 years and includes 125 Shinto shrines.</p> <p>A large part is off limits to cameras and the public, and in one section only the Japanese Emperor has access.</p>