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Ama-no-Iwato Shrine in Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, enshrines the mythical Ama-no-Iwato cave.

According to Japanese mythology, Amaterasu Omikami who is the sun goddess and an ancestor of the emperor, became angry with her younger brother for his violent behavior then hid in a cave called Ama-no-Iwato. The world thus became pitch-dark, agricultural produce withered and an epidemic spread over. In order to save the people, the various deities gathered together to consider solutions. As a result, they decided to attract the attention of Amaterasu Omikami by having the deities gather in front of Ama-no-Iwato to sing and dance. When Amaterasu Omikami noticed the commotion, she wondered what was going on then came out of Ama-no-Iwato. The bright world with the shining sun had returned.

This myth is well known in Japan, and the cave, which is believed to be Ama-no-Iwato, is enshrined at Ama-no-Iwato Shrine in the first photo. Ama-no-Iwato is located just behind the main hall of the shrine though, no picture of it is available as it is forbidden to photograph it. The second photo shows Ama-no-Yasugawara river beach, within walking distance of the shrine, where the deities are believed to have gathered for discussions.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。


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