Kasuga Grand ShrineGreat Shrine of Kasuga
Walking through Nara Park from Todaiji leads to one of Japan's best Shinto shrines, the Kasuga Grand Shrine (or Kasuga Taisha).
Casuga Taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine)
Casuga Taisha (????) is Nara's most famous shrine. Casuga Taisha was also the shrine of Fujiwara, Japan's most influential Nara and Heian Shrine. Kasuga Taisha, like the Ise Shrines, was reconstructed every 20 years over many hundreds of years. However, in the case of Kasuga Taisha, the practice was abandoned at the end of the Edo period.
In addition to the Sacrificial Shrine, which can be viewed free of cost, there is a paying interior area that provides a close look at the interior Shrine. The farthest away is the Principal Shrine with several shrine structures in the characteristic Kasuga shrine architectural design, characterised by a pitched ceiling that extends over the front of the build.
Casuga Taisha is known for its street lamps that have been given by worshippers. In the forests around Kasuga Taisha there are many smaller sanctuaries, twelve of which are along a road past the major sanctuary compound and devoted to the twelve happy greetings. They include the Wakamiya Shrine, an important heritage known for its dancing festivals, and Meoto Daikokusha, which records divinities and is considered a coincidence for the two.
The Botanical Gardens of Kasuga Taisha Shinen Manyo is just a few minutes away from Kasuga Shrine. There are about 250 species of plant in this park, described in the Manyoshu, Japan's oldest poetry book from the Nara period. On the shrine site is also the Kasuga Taisha Museum, a treasury near the central building where some of the shrine relicts are exhibited.
In addition, the Kasuga Jungle, an ancient holy woodland of the Shrine, will cover the hill behind Kasuga Taisha, but is open to the people. Casuga Taisha is situated in the eastern part of Nara Park. From Kintetsu Nara station it is a 30 minutes walking distance or 45 minutes from JR Nara station.
It can also be accessed by coach from both stations. alight at Kasuga Taisha Honden stop (210 Jen, frequently departures). Central situated Riyokan with views to the Kofukuji temple panorama. Recurring busi-ness motel half way between JR Nara and Nara Park. This is one of the oldest west facing Japanese design properties, situated next to Nara Park.