Omiwa Shrine

Omiwa Shrine (大神神社, Ōmiwa-jinja) is an ancient Shinto shrine along the Yamanobe-no-michi walking trail in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture. Surrounded by thick forest at the base of Mount Miwa, the exact age of the shrine is unknown, but Omiwa is thought to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest shrine in Japan. The shrine has been held as hugely important for many centuries.
Shrines usually have a main hall where the deity is enshrined, but Omiwa Shrine predates this custom and has no main hall (although it does have a prayer hall), instead directing worship to Mount Miwa, which stands behind the complex. Okuninushi became associated with Mount Miwa, and the mountain is believed to be the embodiment of this very prominent Shinto deity.


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