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News & Events

Exploring Atsuta (熱田を探検)

2021.04.30

The grand shrine of Atsuta Jingu is one of Atsuta Ward's most well-known spots, but why not stretch your legs and see what else you can discover in the surrounding area next time you visit?



Atsuta Jingu (熱田神宮)

Jingu_200x300.jpgAtsuta Jingu (Atsuta Shrine) was established to enshrine the sacred sword Kusanagi-no-Mitsurugi (草薙神剣), one of the Three Sacred Treasures that form the Imperial Regalia. During the reign of the twelfth Emperor, Keiko (thought to have reigned 71-130 AD), Yamato Takeru-no-Mikoto (日本武尊), the son of Emperor Keiko sent to pacify the east, left the sword at Hikamiyama, in present-day Odaka-cho, Midori Ward, but died at Nobono in present-day Kameyama City, Mie Prefecture. His wife, Miyasuhime-no-mikoto (宮簀媛命), had the sacred sword enshrined at Atsuta. Since then, while Atsuta Jingu has been greatly revered as an especially exalted shrine after Ise Jingu, it has also come to be affectionately referred to by locals as 'Atsuta-Sama' and 'Miya'. (宮 in 神宮 [jingu] can also be read as 'miya'.)
Jingu2_200x300.jpgSpanning around 190,000 square meters, the precinct is home to a number of great trees including a thousand-year-old great camphor tree, and a Treasure Exhibition Hall where some 6,000 items, offerings from the Imperial family and worshippers from throughout the country, are stored and displayed in monthly exhibitions, giving an insight into the history of worship at Atsuta.
In addition to the Hongu (Main Shrine) and the companion Betsugu-Hakkengu, there are 43 auxiliary and subordinate shrines located within and outside the Atsuta Jingu precinct, where more than 70 festivals and rituals are observed each year, carrying on the same sacred traditions of old to the present day.
The main deity enshrined at Atsuta Jingu is Atsuta-no-Okami, or the deity Amaterasu-Omikami as manifested in the sacred sword, Kusanagi-no-Mitsurugi. Amaterasu-Omikami, as the ancestral deity of the Imperial family, is revered as the supreme deity who granted human beings the virtue of love. The Five Great Deities of Atsuta (Amaterasu-Omikami, Susanoo-no-Mikoto, Yamato Takeru-no-Mikoto, Miyasuhime-no-Mikoto, and Takeinadane-no-Mikoto) have a strong connection to the legend of the sacred sword. Miyasuhime-no-Mikoto and Takeinadane-no-Mikoto are revered as distant ancestors of the Owari clan.


Where: Atsuta Jingu (熱田神宮), Atsuta Ward (熱田区)
Access: A 3-minute walk from Jingū-mae Sta. (神宮前駅, NH33) on the Meitetsu Nagoya Line (名鉄名古屋本線); or an 8-minute walk from Atsuta Sta. (熱田駅, CA65) on the JR Tōkaidō Line (JR東海道線); or a 7-minute walk from Jingu Nishi Sta. (神宮西駅, M27) on the Meijo Subway Line (地下鉄名城線).
Website: https://www.atsutajingu.or.jp/jingu/



Danpusan Burial Mound (断夫山古墳)

Danpusan_300x200.jpgDanpusan Kofun is the largest keyhole-shaped burial mound in Aichi Prefecture, measuring 151 meters in length. The round section is believed to have been constructed with three tiers, with cylindrical haniwa clay objects arranged around the first tier.
Thought to have been constructed in the early 6th century, the mound is believed to be the grave of a chieftain of the Owari clan who controlled the southern part of Owari district.
The keyhole style of burial mound construction originated from the Yamato authority, and the large size of the mound indicates the power held both by the buried chieftain, and by those who inherited his power.
Danpusan Kofun was managed as part of Atsuta Jingu for many years, but is now managed by Aichi Prefecture as an urban park. It was designated a national historical site in 1987.


Where: Danpusan Burial Mound (断夫山古墳), located in Atsuta Jingu Park (熱田神宮公園), Atsuta Ward (熱田区)
Access: A 5-minute walk south from Nishi Takakura Sta. (西高蔵駅, M28) Exit 2 on the Subway Meijo Line (地下鉄名城線), or a 10-minute walk north from Jingu Nishi Sta. (神宮西駅, 27) Exit 4



History Museum of Atsuta Shirotori (熱田白鳥の歴史館)

HistoryMuseum_300x200.jpgIn former times, the area around present-day Shirotori Park in Atsuta was a large pond used for storing lumber. In the Edo period, lumber was felled from mountains including those of Kiso (Nagano) and Hida (Gifu), and floated down the Kiso and Hida rivers, taking some 300 days to reach Nagoya (Atsuta).
At the History Museum of Atsuta Shirotori, visitors can see photographs, replica picture scrolls, and film footage related to the history of the Shirotori lumber yard and the transportation of lumber to and from the site. You can also learn about forests and forestry, and the uses of timber.


When: 9:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 16:00 Mon. to Fri. (except national holidays, end of year / New Year period. *May also be closed at other times; see website for updates.)
Where: History Museum of Atsuta Shirotori (熱田白鳥の歴史館), located in Nagoya Branch Office, Chubu Regional Forest Office, Forestry Agency (林野庁中部森林管理局名古屋事務所); next to Shirotori Garden.
Access: A 10-minute walk west from Jingu Nishi Sta. (神宮西駅, M27) on the Subway Meijo Line (地下鉄名城線)
Admission: Free
Website: https://www.rinya.maff.go.jp/chubu/nagoya/home/nag_rekishikan.html (Japanese)



Shirotori Garden (白鳥庭園)

ShirotoriTeien_300x200.jpgWith an area of around 3.7 hectares, Shirotori Garden is one of the largest pond-centered Japanese-style strolling gardens in the Tokai region. The garden's design draws inspiration from the topography of the region, with features including a man-made hill representing Mt. Ontake, a stream representing the Kisogawa River, and the pond symbolizing Ise Bay.
The Seiu-tei tea rooms, located almost in the center of the garden on the bank of the pond, were built in an authentic Sukiya architecture style through the close collaboration between Sukiya carpenters from Kyoto and Owari carpenters, using natural materials.
The Shioiri-no-niwa, a garden for enjoying the transformation in scenery caused by the ebb and flow of the tide, is an innovative feature incorporating modern technology. Enjoy the view as you partake in matcha and traditional sweets at the Shioiri teahouse.


When: 9:00 - 17:00 (Last entry 16:30) Closed Mondays (open if Monday is a national holiday, and closed the following business day).
Where: Shirotori Garden (白鳥庭園), Atsuta Ward (熱田区)
Access: A 10-minute walk west from Jingu Nishi Sta. (神宮西駅, M27) on the Subway Meijo Line (地下鉄名城線)
Admission: Adults 300 Yen; Seniors (Nagoya City residents aged 65 and over; proof of age required) 100 Yen; Children under 14 free.
Website: http://www.shirotori-garden.jp/english/index.html



Miya-no-Watashi Park (宮の渡し公園)

MiyanoWatashi_300x200.jpgMiya-no-Watashi (lit. 'the crossing at Miya') was the only sea crossing, joining Miya (Atsuta Jingu) and Kuwana (in Mie), on the Tokaido route, and thrived as a gateway to the Owari Domain. A light post was erected here in 1625 as a guide to waterborne vessels at night.
The site is now maintained as Miya-no-Watashi Park, and reconstructions of the light post and the bell tower (originally used to announce the hour) remind visitors of the site's historical significance.


Where: Miya-no-Watashi Park (宮の渡し公園), Atsuta Ward (熱田区)
Access: A 10-minute walk southwest from Temma-cho Sta. (伝馬町駅, M26) on the Subway Meijo Line (地下鉄名城線)



For more things to see and do in Atsuta Ward, see the brochure ATSUTA, The True Heart of Japan.

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