Inner Shrine (Naiku)
The Inner Shrine (内宮, Naikū) is one of the two main shrines making up the Ise Shrines in Ise City. Formally known as Kotai Jingu, the Inner Shrine enshrines Shinto's most venerated deity, the Sun Goddess (Amaterasu Omikami), and is considered Japan's most sacred shrine.
The Inner Shrine is believed to have been established over 2000 years ago. Its main buildings resemble ancient rice granaries and are built in an architectural style that shows almost no influence from the Asian mainland because they predate the introduction of Buddhism. Both, the Inner and Outer Shrine, are rebuilt from scratch every 20 years according to an ancient Shinto tradition. The 62nd rebuilding was completed in 2013. The 63rd rebuilding will take place in 2033.
A typical visit to the Inner Shrine takes between 60 and 90 minutes and starts from the Uji Bridge, an approximately 100 meter long, wooden bridge across the Isuzugawa River. The bridge has two large torii gates, one at each end, which are made from the former shrine building's main pillars. The shrine grounds fascinate through their simplicity, as visitors encounter little more than gravel-covered walkways and wooden, barely painted shrine structures, surrounded by a serene forest.
After passing the purification trough and one more torii gate, visitors have a unique additional opportunity to cleanse and purify themselves at a riverside site, using the water of the sacred Isuzugawa River. Further along the approach to the main sanctuary, visitors pass the Kaguraden, a building complex where charms and amulets can be acquired.
The main sanctuary is found at the top of a flight of stone stairs. The main hall enshrines the Sun Goddess and is surrounded by multiple sets of fences. Visitors are only allowed to go beyond the outermost of them where photography is not allowed. Only partially visible, the main hall features forked roof finishings (chigi) that are cut horizontally at their tips and have ten decorative wooden beams (katsuogi), differing slightly from the Outer Shrine.
There are a number of auxiliary shrines on the grounds of the Inner Shrine: a beautiful wooden bridge (shown on this page's top picture) leads from the Kaguraden building to the Kazahinominomiya which enshrines two wind deities. On a small hill next to the main shrine stands Aramatsurinomiya which enshrines the spirit of the Sun Goddess. Furthermore, there is an ancient rice granary called Mishinenomikura where the rice used for offerings is stored.
Getting there and around
The Inner Shrine stands several kilometers outside of central Ise and can be reached by bus from Iseshi Station, Ujiyamada Station and the Outer Shrine in 10-15 minutes and for 440 yen one way. It is also served by the CAN bus.
Alternatively, it can be reached from Isuzugawa Station by bus (6 minutes, 230 yen one way, frequent departures) or on foot (about two kilometers or 30 minutes).
Hours and Fees
5:00 to 19:00 (May to August)
5:00 to 17:00 (October to December)
Questions? Ask in our forum.
Links and Resources
Hotels around Ise Shima
Glamp Ocean IseshimaA village of luxurious glamping domes commanding far reaching horizon. Opened in 2020. Savor barbeque dinner and breakfast with fresh seafoods by the beautiful private seashore. Bar, pool, shower available.View siteSponsored
Ise Guest House SoraSet in Ise, within 5.2 km of Ise Grand Shrine and 4.1 km of Oharai-machi, Ise Guest House Sora offers accommodation with free bikes and free WiFi throughout the property as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The property is situated 1.5 km from Ise Shrine Geku, 4 km from Sarutahiko Shrine and 5.2 km from Ise-Shima Nat'l Park. The property is non-smoking and is located 38 km from Tsu-k?. At the guest house, each room comes with a wardrobe. Every room has a safety deposit box and certain rooms here will provide you with river views. The units feature a shared bathroom, free toiletries and bed linen. ?minato-k? is 6.5 km from Ise Guest House Sora, while Sun Arena is 7.3 km away. The nearest airport is Nagoya Airport, 143 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
HoshidekanLocated 500 metres from Kintetsu Iseshi Train Station, Hoshidekan Ryokan (a member of the Japanese Inn Group) is a wooden building that was built in the 1920's and provides Japanese-style rooms with free WiFi, an LCD TV and traditional futon bedding. It has shared bath and a courtyard garden. Rooms at Hoshidekan have paper screens, a tatami (woven-straw) floor and a low wooden table. An air conditioner, slippers and green tea are provided. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. The Geku Ise Shrine is a 18-minute walk from the hotel. On-site parking is free and requires a reservation. The hotel has baths that can be reserved for private use, and a free-use internet station is provided at the lobby. A coin launderette is available. Guests staying with a meal plan will be served Japanese breakfast in the dining room.View on Booking.com
Ise Guest House KazamiNewly built in November 2018 as a dodecagon-shaped building, featuring an indoor garden at the atrium, Ise Guest House Kazami offers dormitory and private rooms. Guests can cook their own meals at the shared kitchen and use free WiFi in the entire building. All rooms feature air conditioning and heating facilities. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. Towels are available for an extra cost. The free-use kitchen provides a microwave, a fridge and an electric kettle. A small library is available for guests to spend their time in. A coin-launderette is on site as well. Kazami Guest House Ise is only a 2-minute walk from JR Iseshi Train Station, 5-minute walk from Ise Shrine and a 10-minute drive from Yamatohime no Miya Shrine. Meoto Iwa Wedded Rocks are a 30-minute train ride away. Free coffee and tea are available, while bread can be purchased on site.View on Booking.com
Hinode RyokanConveniently located just a 2-minute walk from Iseshi Train Station, Hinode Ryokan is Japanese-style accommodation with a historic charm. Ise-jingu Shrine’s Geku (outer shrine) is a 5-minute walk away. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Ise-jingu Shrine’s Naiku (inner shrine) is a 20-minute bus ride away. Futami Sea Paradise Aquarium can be reached within a 25-minute walk. Fitted with tatami (woven-straw) flooring and traditional futon bedding, each room comes with facilities like a flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle. Guests can unwind at a seating area with a low table and cushions. Bathroom and toilets are shared with other guests. Ryokan Hinode offers bicycle rental services on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can enjoy playing table tennis on site, and drinks vending machines are available. Traditional Japanese set meal can be served for breakfast in the privacy of the guestroom. There are many restaurants around the property, as well.View on Booking.com
Weekly Mansion Ise No.6Weekly Mansion Ise No.6 offers accommodation in Funaech?. Ise is 1.9 km from the property. Free WiFi is provided . JR Iseshi Station and Ujiyamada Station are both 3 minutes on foot. The accommodation has a flat-screen TV. All units feature a kitchenette fitted with a microwave and toaster. A fridge and stovetop are also offered, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle. Each unit comes with a private bathroom with a bath. Towels are featured. Free-use bicycles are available at the proeprty. Ise Shrine Geku is a 10-minute stroll. Toba is 11 km from Weekly Mansion Ise No.6, while Tsu is 33 km away. The nearest airport is Chubu Airport, 42 km from Weekly Mansion Ise No.6.View on Booking.com
Comfort Hotel IseFeaturing 3-star accommodation, Comfort Hotel Ise is set in Ise, 5.9 km from Ise Grand Shrine and 3.6 km from Oharai-machi. With free bikes, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking is available on site. At the hotel, each room is fitted with a desk and a flat-screen TV. At Comfort Hotel Ise all rooms have bed linen and towels. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet or a continental breakfast. Speaking English and Japanese, staff are always on hand to help at the 24-hour front desk. Tsu-k? is 37 km from Comfort Hotel Ise, while Ise Shrine Geku is less than 1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Nagoya Airport, 143 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com
FAV HOTEL ISEFeaturing 4-star accommodation, FAV HOTEL ISE is set in Ise, 6.6 km from Ise Grand Shrine and 4.2 km from Oharai-machi. The property is located 37 km from Tsu-k?, 700 metres from Ise Shrine Geku and 3.6 km from Sarutahiko Shrine. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. All units in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. All guest rooms will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV. ?minato-k? is 6.3 km from FAV HOTEL ISE, while Ise-Shima Nat'l Park is 6.6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Nagoya Airport, 143 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
Sanco Inn Iseshi-Ekimae ShikinoyuSanco Inn Iseshi-Ekimae Shikinoyu is located in Ise, 6.4 km from Ise Grand Shrine and 4.1 km from Oharai-machi. Among the facilities at this property are a shared lounge and a 24-hour front desk, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Sarutahiko Shrine is 3.6 km from the hotel and Ise-Shima Nat'l Park is 6.4 km away. The units in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Guest rooms at Sanco Inn Iseshi-Ekimae Shikinoyu include air conditioning and a desk. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Tsu-k? is 37 km from Sanco Inn Iseshi-Ekimae Shikinoyu, while Ise Shrine Geku is 700 metres away. The nearest airport is Nagoya Airport, 143 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com
Hotel Route Inn IseLocated in Ise, within 9.3 km of Ise Grand Shrine and 49 km of Suzuka Circuit, Hotel Route Inn Ise provides accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property as well as free private parking for guests who drive. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Ise Shrine Geku is 3.5 km away and Sarutahiko Shrine is 6.4 km from the hotel. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, free toiletries and a desk. Every room is fitted with a private bathroom with a shower, a hairdryer and slippers. At the hotel each room is equipped with bed linen and towels. Hotel Route Inn Ise offers a buffet or Asian breakfast. Oharai-machi is 6.9 km from the accommodation, while Tsu-k? is 34 km away. The nearest airport is Nagoya Airport, 126 km from Hotel Route Inn Ise.View on Booking.com
Tabist Asanokan Annex Iroha IseFeaturing 3-star accommodation, Tabist Asanokan Annex Iroha Ise is located in Ise, 10 km from Ise Grand Shrine and 9.3 km from Oharai-machi. The property is set 44 km from Tsu-k?, 700 metres from Futamiokitama Shrine and 2.1 km from Ise Azuchi-Momoyama Culture Village. Toba Aquarium is 9.2 km from the hotel and ?minato-k? is 10 km away. At the hotel, each room has air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Sun Arena is 3.4 km from Tabist Asanokan Annex Iroha Ise, while Sarutahiko Shrine is 9.2 km away. The nearest airport is Nagoya Airport, 150 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com