宇治上神社   Click to listen highlighted text! 宇治上神社

(ujigami jinja)

Ujigami-jinja is a Shinto shrine located in the city of Uji in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its historical significance, stunning architecture, and beautiful natural surroundings. As a traveler, visiting Ujigami-jinja is a must-do experience that provides a glimpse into Japan’s rich culture and heritage.

The shrine was built in the 11th century and is said to be the oldest surviving example of pure Shinto architecture. Its simple and elegant design, which includes a single hipped roof and cypress bark roof, is a testament to the skill of ancient Japanese architects. Ujigami-jinja was originally built to protect the nearby Byodo-in temple, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.

As you approach the shrine, you’ll be greeted by a peaceful and serene atmosphere. The sound of flowing water from the nearby Uji River adds to the calming atmosphere. The shrine’s main hall is an architectural masterpiece that is worth seeing up close. The intricate wood carvings and traditional details will leave you in awe.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Ujigami-jinja is its unique relationship with nature. The shrine is surrounded by a dense forest that has been preserved for centuries. The trees provide a natural barrier that protects the shrine and its visitors from the outside world. Walking through the forest and taking in the fresh air is a perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

The shrine’s history is closely linked to the famous Tale of Genji, a novel that is considered one of the world’s greatest works of literature. The author, Murasaki Shikibu, is said to have visited Ujigami-jinja to seek divine inspiration for her writing. It’s no surprise that the shrine has become a popular destination for literature enthusiasts who want to pay homage to the novel and its author.

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