Ikuta Shrine
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Ikuta Shrine

One of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan (and maybe actually the oldest), Ikuta was built in the 3rd century, and, depending on whom you ask, was either built for Wakahirume, the spirit of the rising sun, for the preservation of health, or as a symbol of resurrection. The latter seems appropriate, perhaps, for a building that’s seen everything from floods to earthquakes. The shrine’s location in the middle of the city makes it one of the region’s most popular—you wouldn’t believe the New Year’s crowds.

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