Izumo Taisha

Izumo Taisha, located near the southwest corner of Japan’s crescent-shaped main island of Honshu, acts as the spiritual seat of the nation. It’s considered home to Okuninushi no Okami (roughly translated to mean “the god master of the great land”), mythical creator of Japan and, incidentally, a god associated with good relationships. After passing through the great wooden torii gate at its entrance, visitors to Izumo Taisha can make their way to the shrine’s main building to offer up a prayer not only for themselves but their partner (present- or future-tense) by performing an extra set of ritualistic claps. The shrine also serves an annual meeting point for the country’s most Shinto gods during a one-week period in the tenth lunar month.

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