History of Kashima Shrine
Located in Kashima City, the Kashima Jingu Shrine is traditional and one of the oldest shrines in the Kanto region. The Kashima Jingu Shrine is the guardian deity that protects the East Kanto area along with the Katori Shinto shrine.
The shrine was founded in 600 B.C. which is the same year that the first emperor, Emperor Jimmu Tenno accended to the throne. It was founded around the same year as the Japanese Imperial Era.
Takemikazuchi no Onokami, the strongest god of war in Japanese myth is the enshrined deity of the Kashima Jingu Shrine.
When you enter the “O-torii” or the large shrine gates, you will encounter another gate called “Romon”. The gate was constructed by Yorifusa Tokugawa, the Mito Clan’s first lord in 1634. The Romon Gate in Kashima Shrine is one of the three major Romon gates in the country and is a designated as an important cultural property.
Main Shrine Hall
The shrine’s main hall was donated in 1619 by Hidetada Tokugawa. When you hold an official visit or a wedding ceremony, you may go into the hall.
Deers in Japan are regarded as divine messengers and are treated with the utmost care and respect. There is an area in the shrine where you can get close to them and interact with them.
Inner Shrine Hall
Constructed by Ieyasu Tokugawa in 1605, it was made earlier than the main shrine hall in order to thank the Japanese god of war for his victory in the battle of Sekigahara.
Mitarashi Pond Further past the inner shrine hall, the Mitarashi Pond is known as an area with special spiritual energy. In the past, visitors would first come to the pond for purification before visiting the main shrine hall. In the present, the pond is used during the new year at the time of the mass purification ritual or the “Taikan Misogi”.
At an area just near the inner shrine hall, the Cornerstrone is surrounded by stone bars – this is another area that is believed to have special spiritual energy. According to legend, the Cornerstone was used to pin down a gigantic catfish which was believed to be the cause of earthquakes in Japan. It is a belief that the area around the shrine is free from large earthquakes because of the cornerstone.
Good Luck Charms and Oracles
At the end of the shrine, there is an office near the main shrine hall where you can purchase good luck charms and oracles. You can draw your fortune here and add it to your memories from the trip.
There is a 300 yen admission for adults and 100 yen for junior high students and younger students.
On the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, students that are in junior high and below can get in for free.
Best time to visit Kashima Shrine
On September 1 and 2, visit the shrine and its surrounding areas for the JINKOSAI. The JINKOSAI festival is held at the shrine yearly where deities are taken out of the temple and into the city so that they can bestow good fortune to their people.
You may visit their treasure hall from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
How to get there
Take the JR East Kashima Line to the Kashima Jingu Station, from there, the shrine is a 10-minute walk away.
6 Chome-18-36 Ōi, Shinagawa Area, Tōkyō