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Kumano-Taisha shrine

The Kumano Hongu-Taisha Shrine is a World Heritage registered Grand Shrine located deep in the rugged mountains of southeastern Wakayama. It is the head shrine of over 3,000 Kumano Shrines across the country and part of the Kumano Sanzan, the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano. The other two are Kumano Nachi-Taisha Shrine and Kumano-Hayatama- Taisha Shrine. Originally, each of these three Grand Shrines had their own distinctive form of nature worship; later in the 10th century, they started to be worshipped as a set under the influence of Buddhism.
Kumano Hongu-Taisha Shrine was originally located at Oyunohara, a delta at the confluence of the Kumano-gawa and Otonashi-gawa Rivers. All of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes lead to this mystical sandbank encompassed by mountains; it is the spiritual heart of Japan. In 1889 there was a tremendous flood that destroyed a large portion of the shrine complex. The salvaged materials were used to rebuild the pavilions at their present location, on a ridge 500 meters northwest of the former shrine grounds.

Kumano-Taisha shrine

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