Atsuta Jingu Shrine, Home of the Sacred Sword
Atsuta Shrine is Japan's second most revered Shinto shrine after the Great Shrine of Ise, and dates back over 1,900 years. The shrine is home to the sacred Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword, likened to the legendary Excalibur, it is one of the Three Imperial Regalia of Japan. Despite having the Imperial sword, it is never displayed, however Atsuta Jingu (Jingu means shrine) does have a large and impressive collection of samurai swords on rotational display in its Treasure Hall, featuring over 6,000 relics, including Important Cultural Property and National Treasure ranked items such as sacred garments, manuscripts, masks, mirrors, furniture and its large array of swords and blades. Over 7 million people visit Atsuta Shrine, and over 70 ceremonies and festivals are staged there annually. One of the busiest times is over the first few days of January, when thousands flock to make their New Year's prayers. The atmosphere is different at Atsuta Shrine. It is a special place, a holy place. A place to find some peace, and feel the ancient culture of Japan.