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Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine

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Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine
Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine Stone Lanterns

Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine is located in Nara Park area on small hillock in the central Nara City of Kansai region.  Kasuga Taisha (Taisha means Grand Shrine) is the family shrine of the Fujiwara Family and established in 768 AD.  It's establishment coincided with the designation of Nara as the capital city of Japan.

Kasuga Taisha is located in the Nara Park and takes a little over half an hour walk from the JR Nara Station.  There are buses that you can take from the JR Nara Station to visit the various tourist places in Nara park including Kasuga Taisha.  The Todaiji Temple is also located closeby to Kasuga Taisha.

Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine SealThe Shinto Deity Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto who is enshrined in Kashima Jingu Shrine (located in the current Osaka Prefecture) had manifested to the top of the sacred Mikasayama Hill in the Nara Park area.  Originally there was a Shrine created to enshrine Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto.  Later on the Shinto Deities Futsunushi-no-mikoto of Katori Jingu Shrine and Amenokoyane-no-mikoto and his consort Himegami from Hiraoka Shrine also manifested at this Hill.

Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine

These Shinto Deities became the family Kami of the Fujiwara Family from the 8th century.  So, a Shrine was built on this Mikasayama Hill on the 9th of November 768 AD.  This Hill is nowadays also known as Kasuga Hill. 

These shrine was originally constructed in the primeval forest, stands unchanged with red vermillion pillars, white walled buildings and cypress-bark roof tops.  They have been standing structurally stylistic and timeless since it's foundation.  Once every twenty years the  Shrine buildings are restored. 

There are many deer in the Nara Park area and deer are treated as the messengers of Kami in the Kasuga Taisha area.  There are more than three thousand bronze and stone lanterns around the Shrine area and on the hilly approach to the Shrine throughout the Nara Park.  All the lanterns are lit during the Shrine's major festivals and on the New Years Eve. 

Enjoy a video of the Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine:

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