Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Nara) Show mapShow gallery

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  • Minamimon Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Main Hall Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Osugi Sacred Cedar Tree of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Kannushi At The Kasuga Taisha Shrine

  • Kannushi At The Kasuga Taisha Shrine

  • Lanterns In The Kasuga Taisha Shrine

  • Bronze Lanterns Kasuga Taisha Shrine

  • Bronze Lanterns Kasuga Taisha Shrine

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Banners Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine In Nara

  • Kasuga Grand Shrine In Nara

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Facts & Figures

Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Kasuga Grand Shrine) in Nara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1998), a designated National Treasure and one of the most famous Shinto Shrines in Japan. It is also the head shrine for around 3000 Kasuga Shrines within Japan. Best Ryokans in NaraExplore Ryokans in Nara
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One outstanding feature are the shrines more than 1000 bronze lanterns donated by worshipers. The style of the architecture is called Kasuga-zukuri. It is characterized by a sloping roof extending over the front of the building.

  • Main shrine (Hon-den):
  • Opening Hours - 6:00 am to 6:00 pm (April to September)
  • Opening Hours - 6:30 am to 5:30 pm (rest of the year)
  • Admission fee - 500 yen (inner grounds), free (outer grounds)
  • Treasury Hall (Houmotsu-den):
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (December to February)
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (rest of the year)
  • Closed - on Mondays from December to February
  • Admission fee - 400 yen
  • Botanical Garden (Shin-en):
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (December to February)
  • Opening Hours - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (rest of the year)
  • Closed - on Mondays from December to February
  • Admission fee - 500 yen

History

The Fujiwara family, powerful clan of regents during Nara and Heian Periods, established the shrine in 768. According to the Shinto concept of purity the Kasuga Taisha Shrine was rebuilt every 20 years, like the Grand Shrine of Ise. This tradition stopped in 1863 (end of the Edo Period).

Location Show map

Kasuga Taisha Shrine is located in the eastern part of the Nara Park.
Address: 160 Kasugano-cho, Nara-shi, Nara

How to get to Kasuga Taisha Shrine?

  • 20min from Kintetsu Nara Station served by Nara and Kyoto Line
  • 40min from JR Nara Station served by Yamatoji, Nara, Gakkentoshi, Sakurai Line
  • 8min from Kintetsu Nara Station by bus to Kasuga Taisha Honden stop

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Honden (Main Hall) - the Honden is formed by 4 shrines standing in a row, enshrined are the 4 gods protecting the Fujiwara family

Kasuga Taisha Shinen Manyo Botanical Garden - appr. 250 different kind of plants, like the wisteria flower, are on display

Treasury House - is housing the different shrine's relics

Kasuga Primeval Forest - no access for the public, located behind the Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Path to Kasuga Taisha Shrine - appr. 2000 stone lanterns are located along the Kasuga Taisha path

auxiliary shrines - these small or miniature shrines, like Wakamiya Shrine or Meoto Daikokusha, are worth a visit, do not miss the tour of the "twelve lucky gods"

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

February

Setsubun Mantoro (2nd - 4th)
This is one of the best times to visit Kasuga Taisha. All of the 3000 shrine's lanterns are lit at once on the 3rd of February between 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm. This event has a history of more than 800 years.

March

Kasuga Matsuri (Monkey Festival) (13th)
This festival features gagaku ("elegant dance", performed since centuries at the Imperial court) and bugaku (classical Japanese dance of Chinese origin) dance performances.

August

Obon Mantoro (14th - 15th)
Similar to the Setsubun Mantoro in February all of the 3000 shrine's lanterns are lit at once between 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm.

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