Kasuga Taisha is an important Shinto shrine in Nara, dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city of Nara. It is located at the western foot of Mikasa-yama and Kasuga-yama, which are regarded as the sacred hills to where a deity descended. Kasuga Taisha enshrines the Fujiwara clan deity. This shrine is famous for its many lanterns which were donated by worshippers. The many bronze lanterns within the shrine and the hundreds of stone lanterns around the shrine will be beautifully lit during the lantern festivals in February and August.
Kasuga Shrine is a beautiful Shinto shrine tucked away in its own primeval forest. It is among the top shrines in the nation; It was the shrine of the famous Fujiwara clan, it houses the deities that are believed to protect Nara, and it is one of the twenty-two shrines chosen by the Heian Court to give offerings to.
The shrine features thousands of lanterns, many buildings (aside from the honden), and a garden slightly removed from the main shrine. You can roam the grounds for free or pay 500 yen to enter the shrine and see its inner buildings and some of its treasures. Some of the deer from Nara Park can be found wandering around the shrine entrance.
Kasuga Taisha: thousands of lanterns
its also a UNESCO World Heritage
these districts full of lanterns are dating back to the 8th century and each and every lantern was a donation by worshipers. Kasuga Taisha is an important Shinto shrine in Nara, and it is dedicated to the god protecting the city of Nara. Twice every year, once in February and once in August all of these lanterns are lit in a lantern-festival and that is of course the best time to go there for tourists. I came in March and unfortunately it was raining a lot, the day before it was snowing a bit in this part of Japan.
Kasuga Taisha is Nara's most celebrated shrine which was established at the same time as the capital and dedicated to the deity responsible for the protection of the city. The shrine was also the tutelary shrine of Fujiwara. Kasuga Shrine had been periodically torn down and rebuilt every 20 years for many centuries. However, this Shinto custom was dicontinued for Kasuga Taisha at the end of Edo Period. The shrine is famous for its many lanterns donated by worshippers. The architectural style of the shrine is called Kasuga style because of its characteristic roof shape. The surrounding vermilion coridors filled with bronze hanging lanterns, and surrounded by thick green grove, create an elegant atmosphere. The outer area of shrine is free admission. If you would like to see inner area, the admission fee is 500 JPY. The shrine is open everyday and opening hours are as follows : 7:00-16:30 (Nov to Mar), 6:30-17:30 (Apr to Oct).
Founded in 710, this is a shinto shrine owned by the famous Fujiwara family. It's on the hills close to the Todaiji buddhist temple. Up the road here, there are hundreds of stone lanterns donated by worshippers. Must be really beautiful when they are all lit during the Lantern Festival.
Kasuga Taisha is the most celebrated shrine in Nara and was founded in the 8th century by the Fujiwara family. It lies at the foot of a hill just east of the Todai-ji temple in wooded settings with herds of deer.
Kasuga Taisha is famous for its many lanterns which were donated by worshippers. The many bronze lanterns within the shrine and the hundreds of stone lanterns lining the shrine's approach are lit on the occasion of the Lantern Festivals in February and August.
Built in 768, Kasuga Grand Shrine has been painted a bright vermilion/red color over Japanese lacquered. Here you will find more than 1,800 stone lanterns lining the shrine precinct and another 1,000 suspended from the eaves of the corridors. They served as offerings of devotees to the deities enshrined here.
This shrine offers more serenity and peace than Todaiji Temple prompting us to stop and enjoy vegetarian porridge served alfresco style on the grounds of the shrine.
See more pix in the travelogue
Kasuga-taisha Grand Shrine is generally believed to have been founded by the Fujiwara family in 768 A.D., the most important imperial court nobles of the Tempyo period. It was built as a tribute to their tutelary deity after the capital was moved to Heijo (present-day Nara). Classified as one of the "Three Great Shrines" of Japan, it is a sight not to be missed.
There are four shrines located there (for the different dieties). The architecture of Kasuga Shrine is called the "Kasuga style" due to the charismatic shape of its cypress-bark roof. The inner shrine is surrounded by vermilion-lacquered galleries. The shrine has 1000 hanging lanterns and maybe 2000 stone lanterns along the path to the shrine (i have a photo of hanging lantern on my Nara page).
Surrounded by a thick green grove, known as the 'Kasuga Taisha Shrine Jin'en Park'. It has about 300 kinds of plants and trees that appear in 'Man'yoshu' (Japan's oldest poetry anthology)
The present structure was last reconstructed in 1893. According to Japanese Shinto rituals, shrines were often destroyed and rebuilt every 20 years for purification purposes. Although this is technically the 57th Kasuga Shrine, exact reconstruction based on the original layout makes it an outstanding example of 8th century Japanese architecture.
You must see this Shrine if you are in Nara!
A pretty walk along a wooded path lined with stone lanterns (pictured on my Nara homepage (watch out for hungry deer waiting in ambush!)) leads to Kasuga Taisha - a very pleasant shrine.
The stone lanterns and the impressive bronze temple lanters are apparently lit at dusk on Febrary the 3rd and August the 15th and 16th each year.
This is one of the most vivid vermilion temples in Japan, and is best viewed during spring or autumn as depicted in this postcard.
Nara is an ancient capital of Japan that predates Kyoto. This Shinto shrine was originally founded in 748 but most of the current buildings date from the 17th century. I really like the different stone, iron, and bronze lanterns that hang from this temple. You'll also see a lot of deer hanging around this area.
You can see some of my photos of Kasuga Shrine in my Nara travelogue.
Known for its hundreds of lanterns that line the approach, this Shinto shrine is also one of Nara's most active religious sites. it was built in 786.