Himuro Shrine

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Himuro Shrine, as seen from within its gates, facing into the compound, towards the haiden.
  • Japanese: 氷室神社 (Himuro jinja)

Himuro jinja (lit. "ice room shrine") is a Shinto shrine in Nara, located directly across the street from the Nara National Museum.

Established in the 8th century, around the time the capital was moved to Nara, the central ritual at this shrine centered around encasing fish in blocks of ice, and offering them to the gods.

The main worship hall (haiden) is two ma wide, and one ma deep.

During the Edo period, the shrine was one of a number of sites employed by the Imperial Court and Tokugawa shogunate as a site for important government rituals. It was also a central hub of performers, of bugaku in particular, in the Nara area; the head priests of the shrine also served as performers. A rare bugaku stage survives at the shrine today. In earlier periods, Himuro was a major gagaku site as well.


  • Plaques on-site.

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