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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).

How to get to and around the Shima Peninsula

Hours and Fees

Hours

5:00 to 18:00 (January to April, September)
5:00 to 19:00 (May to August)
5:00 to 17:00 (October to December)

Closed

No closing days

Admission

Free

Hotels around Ise Shima

Top rated in Ise Shima
Budget:
    • Ise Guest House Sora
      Budget-friendly
      伊勢ゲストハウス そら is set in Ise, 5 km from Ise Grand Shrine and 4.4 km from Oharai-machi. With a shared lounge, the 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The units at the guest house come with a seating area. All units feature a wardrobe. Ise Shrine Geku is 2.2 km from 伊勢ゲストハウス そら, while Sarutahiko Shrine is 4 km away. The nearest airport is Chubu Airport, 42 km from the accommodation.
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    • Ise Guest House Kazami
      Budget-friendly
      Newly 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.
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    • Hinode Ryokan
      Mid-range
      Conveniently 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.
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    • Hoshidekan
      Budget-friendly
      Located 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.
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    • Poka Poka Village
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Poka Poka Village is a guest house in Ise, 7 km from Ise Grand Shrine. Free private parking is available on site. Each room has a shared bathroom. Towels and toothbrushes can be purchased on site. Free use of bicycles is available at this guest house and the area is popular for canoeing. A light breakfast including toast and drinks is provided at the property. Meoto Iwa is a 15-minute walk from Poka Poka Village. Futamiura Beach Resort and Futamiura Seaside Barbecue Site are a 5-minute walk away, where guests can enjoy sunset views. Oharai-machi is 7 km from the property, while Ise Aduchimomoyama culture village is 1.3 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chubu Airport, 39 km from Poka Poka Village.
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    • Comfort Hotel Ise
      Mid-range
      6 km from Ise Grand Shrine, Comfort Hotel Ise is set in Ise and offers air-conditioned rooms. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. At the hotel all rooms have a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Guests at Comfort Hotel Ise can enjoy a continental or a buffet breakfast. Oharai-machi is 5 km from the accommodation, while Ise Shrine Geku is 1.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chubu Airport, 42 km from Comfort Hotel Ise.
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    • Weekly Mansion Ise No.6
      Budget-friendly
      Weekly 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.
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    • Ryoso Uminocho
      Luxury
      Located less than 200 m from the sea shore, Ryoso Uminocho offers tranquil getaway spot with free-access private beach, seasonal outdoor pool and sauna. On-site dining and en suite private baths are provided for guests’ convenience. There are indoor and outdoor public bathrooms from which guests can enjoy views of surrounding greeneries. Here, guests can use the karaoke machines and table tennis facilities for entertainment or request a massage for relaxation. Free WiFi is accessible in the lobby and on-site parking is possible also free of charge. Featuring nature views, all rooms at Ryoso Uminocho are fitted with a refrigerator, electric kettle and a flat-screen TV. En suite bathrooms include a bath, a shower and free toiletries. Selected rooms boast a private open-air bath. Japanese set breakfast is served in the dining area every morning. Dinner is served in either guest rooms or private dining room as a Japanese Kaiseki course meal featuring fresh local ingredients. From the hotel, Ikenoura Seaside Station is 11 minutes on foot whilte Toba Station is a 7 minutes away on the free shuttle bus. Toba Aquarium is a 10-minute drive and Ise Shrine is a 30-minute drive away.
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    • Sanco Inn Iseshi-Ekimae Shikinoyu
      Mid-range
      Sanco Inn Iseshi-Ekimae Shikinoyu is located in Ise, within 7 km of Ise Grand Shrine and 6 km of Oharai-machi. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. ?minato-k? is 7 km from the hotel and Ise-Shima Nat'l Park is 7 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. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Ise Shrine Geku is 2 km from Sanco Inn Iseshi-Ekimae Shikinoyu, while Sarutahiko Shrine is 3.7 km away. The nearest airport is Chubu Airport, 42 km from the hotel.
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    • Hotel Route Inn Ise
      Mid-range
      Located in Ise, within 10 km of Ise Grand Shrine and 8 km of Oharai-machi, 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 Japanese-style business hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. The property is 9 km from ?minato-k? and 10 km from Ise-Shima Nat'l Park. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. The units include a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. Guests at the japanese-style business hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Ise Shrine Geku is 4.1 km from Hotel Route Inn Ise, while Sarutahiko Shrine is 6 km away. The nearest airport is Chubu Airport, 43 km from the accommodation.
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