Kasugataisha Shrine (courtesy of the tourist association of Nara City)

Pictures of noted places of Yamato (courtesy of Nara Prefectural Library and Information Center)

Kasugataisha Shrine

Kasugataisha Shrine was a Shintō shrine (It was a shrine for worshipping their ancestors’ spirits as gods) of the Fujiwara family, which was one of the most powerful upper-class families. It was founded on the slopes of Mt. Mikasa in 768 and has been regarded as one of the three great shrines of Japan since the middle periods (The other two shrines are Ise grand shrine and Iwashimizu Hachimangū shrine). Kasugataisha Shrine flourished due to the generosity of people in power and faithful religious followers. In 1178, it was reconstructed and some parts of the original structure such as Chūmon Gate, Orō Corridor, Nanmon Gate and Kairō Cloister still remain. The present main shrine was rebuilt in 1863. Onmatsuri, which is held in a shrine dedicated to the son of the god of the main shrine once a year, is the most important festival and a national intangible cultural asset. In ‘Owatarishiki’ on 17 of December, many people wear gorgeous traditional costumes and walk around Nara.