The Atsuta Jingu or Atsuta Shrine is located in Nagoya and is considered one of Japan's most important shrines because it is said to house Amaterasu, the Japanese Sun Goddess and matriarch from which the Imperial Family descends. The shrine was funded and created by the government and is famous for housing the "kusanagi-no-tsurugi" or the sword that is one of the three sacred treasures that symbolize the Imperial throne. Unfortunately, visitors aren't able to see the sword. Instead they go to pray and make wishes at the shrine. It is also possible to buy good luck charms at the shrine.

Visitors who don't intend to pray or buy charms won't find much else to do and the occasional tablet with information about certain sites on the shrine grounds are in Japanese only. However, the shrine's location within a forest makes it a beautiful place for a peaceful stroll. The whole area is an open space with gravel paths surrounded by enormous trees covered in the fronds of other plants making the tree trunks a feathery green. The trees block out a lot of the sunlight so the paths were cool and dark which is nice on a hot day.

The shrine also offers a small noodle restaurant which serves kishimen, the noodle dish Nagoya specializes in.


The shrine can be reached by taking the Meitetsu Nagoya Line from Nagoya Station to the Jingu-mae Station. It is literally right outside of the Jingu-mae Station. Refer to the official website's map and directions for more details.

Add your own pictures of Atsuta Jingu by tagging them with "jcmuatsuta" on Flickr!