Takijiri Oji Shrine

Takijiri Oji is in a serene setting at the foot of a 300 meter high mountain. Across the Ishiburigawa Creek,the Kodokan museum orovides a historical look at the Kumano Kodo through the ages. This oji,one of the five Gotai oji,is thought to be the starting point to the most sacred area calld Kumano Sanzan whith is made of three grand shrines. It is also the start of the arduous mountain paths crossing many mountain peaks leading to Kumano Hongu Taisya Grand Shrine.

Religious rituals such as chanting sutras,kagura dancing ,and poetry making parties were held in front of Takijiri Oji Shrine.In the latter half of the Heian era a building and tower complex called Shichido Garan is said to have been built on the shrine grounds. The main shrine building was built in the Meiji era(1867-1912)and the praying hall was built in the Taisho era(1912-1916). In addition,there is a Kamakura style sutra tower and a Muromachi(1573-1603)style Hokyo-in-to tower.

After observing rites at the shrine,pilgrims begin the streep ascent of Tsurugi-yama behind the shrine. From Takijiri,the KUmano KOdo passes across many moutains and areas with few villages.