熊野古道 Kumano Kodō – Hayatama Taisha 熊野速玉大社 in Photographs

Entrance to Kumano Hayatama Taisha

The Kumano Hayatama Grand Shrine in Shingū, Wakayama Prefecture is known as the place of the resurrection of life. Shingu means “new shrine” and includes evolving from primitive beliefs to Shintoism’s nature worship. Sensei and I visited this epitome of mystical Japan as the next stop of our pilgrimage on the Kumano Kodō.

A Miko, shrine maiden, crosses the Kumano Hayatama Taisha in Shingu, Japan.
Torri gate at Kumano Hayatama Taisha.

In ancient times, the three gods, Kumano-Hayatama-no-omikami, Kumano-Musubi-no-omikami and Ketsumi-no-Miko-omikami came down from the heavens to the sacred rock named Gotobiki at Mt. Kamikura. This rock is the object of worship and the Kumano faith, and Sensei and I hiked up the arduous and steep path after this shrine. They were moved from Mt. Kamikura to Kumano Hayatama Taisha and enshrined there.

A Shinto priest brings offerings at Hayatama Taisha.

People in this region have been praying with reverence and gratitude while offering blessings of nature to the gods ever since. Purification ceremonies, which are the most striking features of Shinto, according to the shrine, continue to be held.

Ringing the bell calls the attention of the Kami.

In medieval times, successive emperors and nobles came to worship at the shrine more than 140 times, according to the shrine. The 46th Emperor Koken gave a tablet which proclaimed, “Hayatama is the most sacred shrine in Japan.” A stone monument in the inner shrine honors these ancient emperors.

The pilgrimage on the Kumano
Sensei praying at the main Honden of Hayatama Taisha.

Pilgrims have offered more than 1200 items and are now deemed national treasures and large numbers of devotees travel here to worship and see them in the museum.

Detail of bell at Hayatama Taisha.
Ema at Hayatama Taisha
Emas are hung up with wishes at Hayatama Taisha.
Hayatama Taisha
Fabulous writing on stone!
Hayatama Taisha
Another Kumano Hayatama Grand Shrine entrance and Torii gate.
Nagi leaf at Hayatama Taisha
Sensei Nakamura-san talked with the son of the head priest. He gave us each the sacred Nagi tree leaf. Nagi means “calm” and its power can bring about world peace. I still have my Nagi leaf in my wallet!
Kumano Hayatama Taisha
The Nagi tree was planted by Taira no Shigemori. Because of the symmetrical leaf shape, it’s said that it benefits husband and wife.
Hayatama Taisha
Hayatama Taisha
Pilgrim moi.
Goshuin Hayatama Taisha
Goshuin from Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shinto Shrine, Shingu, Wakayama, Japan

2 thoughts on “熊野古道 Kumano Kodō – Hayatama Taisha 熊野速玉大社 in Photographs

  1. Pingback: 熊野古道 Kumano Kodō: 熊野神倉神社 Kumano Kamikura Jinja Shinto Shrine in Photographs | Sydney In Osaka

  2. Pingback: Onsen and Haiku at Hotel Nagisaya in Wakayama, Japan – Haibun | Sydney In Osaka

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.