Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine (出雲大社)

Izumo taisha 1 Destination

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine is a shrine representative of Japan that everyone knows. The precincts are about 27,000 square meters. The vast grounds are lined with numerous buildings, including the main hall, which is a national treasure, a hall of worship, eight regent shrines, and three subordinate shrines. It is said that once a year at Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, gods from all over Japan gather to hold a meeting called “Kami-hakari (神議)” to connect the bonds of happiness. Therefore, Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine is also famous as a spiritual place for marriage.

Admission fee
Admission fee : Free
Entrance to the Treasure Hall : 300 yen (adult), 100 yen (child)

Opening hours
6:00 – 18:00 (worship time)
open all year round

Described as below

Attractions of Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

A large Shimenawa (しめ縄) of Kaguraden (神楽殿)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Speaking of Izumo Taisha, it is a large shimenawa of Kaguraden. With a length of 13.6m and a weight of 5.2t, it is one of the largest in Japan. Shimenawa has a sacred role as a “barrier” that separates the realm of the gods from the real world. This large shimenawa also plays a similar role. The large shimenawa is replaced every few years. The current (February 2022) large shimenawa was replaced on July 17, 2018 for the first time in six years.

Worship hall (Haiden, 拝殿)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Haiden is the place in front of the main hall of a shrine where visitors worship. Detailed instructions on how to worship are given below.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

At the back of the worship hall, there is Omamoridokoro (御守所) where you can purchase amulets and omikuji.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine
Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Take the omikuji you have drawn home with you or tie it at a place where you can tie omikuji. There are no set rules, so you are free to take your fortune home with you or tie it to a tree.

Cute rabbit stone statues

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

You can find a cute rabbit statues on the Izumo Tasha site. In reference to the Japanese myth of the “White Rabbit of Inaba (Inaba no shiro-usagi, 因幡の白兎),” many stone statues have been installed at Izumo Taisha. There are 66 rabbits in total, so it might be fun to try to complete the collection of all the rabbits.


Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

You can go to the main hall (Honden, 本殿) of Izumo Taisha from anywhere in the surrounding area, but here the official way to worship from the main gate is introduced.

① Large Torii gate of Seidamari (勢溜の大鳥居)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

A large torii gate made of steel pipe, 8.8m high and 12m wide. This is the main gate of Izumo Taisha and the approach to the shrine starts from here.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

After passing through the torii, a long straight road (Omotesando, 表参道) continues.

② Harae no Yashiro (祓社)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

As you walk along the Omotesando, on the right side of the approach, there is a small shrine enshrining the Harai Do no Kami (祓戸神), who purify the mind and body of impurities. Visitors purify themselves here before reaching the shrine.

③ Approach of pine trees (松の参道)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

The beautiful pine trees that have been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 pine trees continue. The approach is divided into three parts, the center and both sides. The center is the path of the gods, so visitor should basically go through the left and right paths.

④ God Statue (Goshinzou 御神像)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

A stone statue of Okuninushi no Okami (大国主大神), the enshrined deity of Izumo Taisha, kneeling with outstretched arms, and a golden sphere enshrined in front of it. Together, these statues are called the “Musubi no Goshinzou (ムスビの御神像)”. This is a representation of a scene from Japanese mythology.

⑤ Purification fountain (Chozuya, 手水舎)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Wash your hands and mouth here first.

① Hold the ladle in your right hand, draw water and pour the water over your left hand.
② Switch the ladle to your left hand, draw water and pour the water over your right hand.
③ Switch the ladle to your right hand and rinse your mouth out with the water in your left hand. (do not put your mouth directly on the ladle)
④ Pour water over your left hand again, and finally lift the ladle up and wash the handle with the remaining water to purify it.
⑤ Return the ladle to its original position

※ Currently, due to prevention of COVID, ladles cannot be used, but the same procedure is used to purify.

⑥ Bronze Torii Gate (銅鳥居)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

This torii gate is said to be the oldest torii gate made of bronze in Japan and is designated as a national important cultural property. Bow lightly before passing through.

⑦ Worship hall (Haiden, 拝殿)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

The worship hall mentioned above, prayers and dedication events are also held here. The key to praying here is to bow twice, clap your hands four times and bow once again (二礼四拍手一礼). Two bows, two claps, and one bow (二礼二拍手一礼) is common in Japan, but at Izumo Taisha, two bows, four claps, and one bow (二礼四拍手一礼) is considered courtesy. All visits in Izumos Taisha should be made in this manner.

⑧ Yatsuashimon Gate (八足門)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

This is the gate closest to the enshrined deity, and the Honden (main shrine) is usually visited from here, but general worshipers cannot go beyond this point unless there is a special event such as the New Year. You can usually pray in front of this gate.

Shinmon dori (神門通り)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

The 700 meters long Omotesando (main approach) leading from the Otorii Gate at Ugabashi (宇迦橋) to the main gate of Izumo Taisha is called Shinmon dori (神門通り). It is a lively and enjoyable street lined with various shops, such as souvenir shops and famous Izumo soba and zenzai shops. Izumo Taisha is also famous as a matchmaking shrine (matchmaking is called En-musubi), so there are many shops related to En-musubi on this street. Introduce some shops on this street.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

a. Goen Yokocho (ご縁横丁)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Goen Yokocho is packed with fun things to do when sightseeing, such as gourmet food, shopping, and hands-on corners. Izumo Zenzai, Izumo soba, and many other souvenirs inspired by the myths of Izumo, such as magatama, are sure to fill your stomach and heart.

b. Emmusubi Hashi Hiranoya (縁結び箸 ひらのや)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

There are more than 100 different kinds of En-musubi chopsticks here. Chopsticks can be engraved with names for free, and can be used as souvenirs for friends and parents. Of course, they also make great gifts for yourself. How about an En-musubi chopstick with your name on it to commemorate your visit to Izumo Taisha?

c. Izumo Enishi (出雲えにし)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Here you can enjoy Izumo soba (出雲そば). Izumo soba is a specialty of Izumo, and is characterized by its dark color and rich buckwheat smell. Since buckwheat seeds with shells are ground and milled as they are, they also have high nutritional value.

d. Cafe Pomme Vert (カフェ ポンム・ベエル)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Cafe Pomme Vert is a cafe with a calm atmosphere that has been renovated from a retro inn. You can eat and drink zenzai originated in Izumo, sweets, and specialty coffee.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Zenzai (ぜんざい) is a Japanese food made by simmering adzuki beans sweetened with sugar, and is often served with rice cakes or shiratama dumplings. Izumo is said to be the birthplace of zenzai. If you like sweets, please try it.

e. Shinmon dori tourist information center (神門通り観光案内所)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

There is a tourist information center in the middle of Shinmon dori. Here you can get information on shops on Shinmon dori, information on Izumo Taisha, and information on other tourist destinations in Shimane Prefecture. English pamphlets are also available, so gathering information here is recommended.

f. Ebinoya

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

This shop offers about 40 kinds of Ebisen (shrimp crackers). Also popular are Shimane Wagyu Goen Rice Burger (島根和牛ご縁ライスバーガー) and Izumo Craft Cola, which you can casually eat while walking around. It may be good to walk around the Shinmon dori area while eating a rice burger.

g. Ichibata Densha Izumo Taisha Mae Station (一畑電車出雲大社前駅)

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

The nearest station to Izumo Taisha is on Shinmon dori. Izumo Taisha Mae Station is a modern Western style building and was designated as a national cultural asset in 1996.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

The oldest train in Japan is on display next to the station, and you are free to visit the middle of the train.

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine
Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Train seats give a retro feeling. You can also enter the driver’s seat. If you hold the steering wheel while looking at the gauges, you can feel like a train driver. Train lovers and non-train lovers alike are sure to enjoy it.


You can access Izumo Taisha by taking the Ichibata Densha (一畑電車) or Ichibata Bus from JR Izumoshi Station. If you are accessing by plane, you will also need to take a bus from Izumo En musubi Airport to Izumo Taisha via JR Izumoshi Station

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

If you use Ichibata Densha

① JR Izumoshi Station → Dentetsu Izumoshi Station (電鉄出雲市駅)

Exit the north exit of JR Izumoshi Station and walk east for about 100m to arrive at Dentetsu Izumoshi Station.

② Dentetsu Izumoshi Station → Izumotaisha Mae Station via Kawato Station (川跡駅)

Fare : 500 yen (adult), 250 yes (child)
Time : about 20 min

From Izumoshi Station to Kawato Station, take the Ichibata Densha – Kita Matsue Line (北松江線). At Kawato Station, change from the Kita-Matsue Line to the Taisha Line (大社線) and head for Izumo Taisha Mae Station.

③ Izumotaisha Mae Station → Izumotaisha

It takes about 5 minutes on foot from Izumosha Station to Izumo Taisha Shrine.

If you use Ichibata Bus

Fare : 510 yen (adult), 260 yes (child) when you get off at Main Gate Stop (正門前)
530 yen (adult), 270 yes (child) when you get off at Izumo Taisha Bus Terminal
Time : about 25 min

Take the bus from bus stop No. 1, located just outside the north exit of JR Izumoshi Station. Take the Taisha Line (大社線) or Hinomisaki Line (日御崎線) and get off at the Main Gate Stop (seimonmae, 正門前) or Izumo Taisha Bus Terminal (出雲大社バスターミナル). No matter which stop you get off at, it’s very close to Izumo Taisha.


Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

Izumo Taisha, also known as a matchmaking shrine, is a popular spiritual spot not only for girls’ trips, but also for couples and families. There are many food and souvenir shops in the surrounding area. Learn Japanese history, eat delicious food, and receive mysterious power from Izumo Taisha. You can enjoy such a luxurious trip here.