Worship the sun.
Located 8 kilometers north of Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine lies another ancient shrine painted red and encircled by a grove of old pine trees.
The vermillion-lacquered Hinomisaki Shrine was built in honor of two sibling deities with a prominent presence in Japanese mythology; Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, and her younger brother Susano, the god of storms and the sea. Thus, the shrine is divided into two parts – the Upper Shrine (Kami-no-miya) and Sunset Shrine (Hishizumi-no-miya).
Because the shrine was intentionally built to face the west in the direction of the setting sun, Hinomisaki Shrine has been observed as the protector of the night once the day sets in Japan.
Respectively, Ise Grand Shrine, deemed Japan’s most sacred shrine, in Mie Prefecture is the guardian from dawn-to-dusk. Each summer, the Hinomisaki Shrine holds it’s annual Sunset Festival on August 7th.
While the exact date of construction is shrouded in mystery – some legends date the shrine’s completion back to 600 BC – historians agree that documents recount the presence of Hinomisaki Shrine as early as the 9th century.
Those who have visited Nikko’s Toshogu in Tochigi Prefecture will immediately recognize the likeness in architectural style, starting with the vibrantly painted Haiden (worship hall) and Honden (main sanctuary) that face adjacent to one another, as well as the various figures of carved animals that decorate the pillars and pavilion. This style, in which the main sanctuary and worship hall are interconnected under one roof via an intermediate passageway, is a nod back to the Momoyama Period (1568-1603) when the current structure reached full completion.
You can pick up a souvenir special to the shrine that also acts as an amulet. The grains of sand within the grounds are rumored to have protective properties and are packed into decorative omamori bags for your taking.