Built more than 12 centuries ago, Takachiho-jinja Shrine stands on the grounds where Amaterasu-omikami, the sun goddess, descended to Earth. The Takachiho area is significant in Japanese mythology, and there were once over 550 shrines here. Takachiho-jinja is the most revered, and it's where all the relevant gods are enshrined.
You can get to the shrine by car, bus or taxi from Takachiho.
Takachiho-jinja is just west of Takachiho's city center, or about 15 minutes on foot from the bus center. If you're staying overnight in a hotel, many offer free shuttle bus rides to the Yokagura dance performances each night.
Takachiho Shrine isn't colored bright red like many others in Japan, and its rather earthy look blends in perfectly with its natural surrounds.
Two tall cedar trees are joined by the roots, and legend says that if you walk round the trees hand in hand with a family member or loved one, great wealth and prosperity will be bestowed upon your descendants.
Each night at the shrine you can watch Kagura dance performances. These dances reenact the story of Amaterasu-omikami, who hid away in a cave and deprived the world of its light until she was lured out by some rather raucous dances. Performances are held every night here.