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Former Shrine Site of Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine and Ohyunohara
The Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine was once located on a sandbar called Ohyunohara, at the confluence of the Kumano, Otonashi, and Iwata Rivers. At that time, the shrine was several times larger than it is today, with five buildings, twelve shrines, a tower gate, kagura hall, a Noh stage, a library, a treasure house, a shrine office, etc. Until the Edo period (1603-1868), there was no bridge across the Otonashi River, and pilgrims had to wet their sandals to visit the shrine. This is called the "wet straw sandals" entry, meaning that one must purify one's mind and body in the cold water before entering the sacred area of the main shrine. The old shrine site, which many people worshiped, was flooded in August 1889, and many of the shrine buildings of Hongu Taisha were washed away. Fortunately, the four shrines that survived the flood were relocated to the current Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine. In 2000, the biggest torii gate in Japan (33.9m high x 42m wide) was built near the old shrine site, and the area is decorated with beautiful cherry blossoms in spring.
1 Hongu, Hongu-cho, Tanabe-shi, Wakayama, 647-1731, Japan
Parking lot available (about 10 cars)
Take the Ryujin Bus from Kii-Tanabe Station on the JR Kisei Line and get off at Hongu Taishamae Bus Stop (Right away).
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