Kasuga Taisha Shrine | Japan Guide

Kasuga Grand Shrine (春日大社 Kasuga-taisha) is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nara, in Nara Prefecture, Japan.Established in 768 AD and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it is the shrine of the Fujiwara family. The interior is famous for its many bronze lanterns, as well as the many stone lanterns that lead up the shrine.
The architectural style Kasuga-zukuri takes its name from Kasuga Shrine’s honden (sanctuary).
Kasuga Shrine, and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest near it, are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”.
The path to Kasuga Shrine passes through Deer Park. In Deer Park, deer are able to roam freely and are believed to be sacred messengers of the Shinto gods that inhabit the shrine and surrounding mountainous terrain. Kasuga Shrine and the deer have been featured in several paintings and works of art of the Nambokucho Period. Over 3,000 stone lanterns line the way. The Man’yo Botanical Garden, Nara is adjacent to the shrine.

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Reference: flickr

Kasuga Taisha Shrine was originally established in 768, however the buildings have been reconstructed several times since then. Kasuga Taisha Shrine is the shrine of the famous and once powerful Fujiwara clan.

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Reference: © zekkeijapan

Kasuga Taisha Shrine is famous for its 1,000 hanging lanterns in the shine main precinct.

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Reference: flickr

Kasuga Taisha Shrine is also famous for its 2,000 stone lanterns outside the main shrine precinct and along the path leading to the shrine.

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Reference: flickr

Wisteria in bloom inside the main shrine precinct.

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Reference: flickr

Kasuga Taisha Shrine Festivals

Kasuga Taisha Shrine has several festivals throughout the year. The main ones are:
Setsubun Mantoro (February 2-4) - The thousands of lantens are lit during this.
Obon Mantoro (August 14-15) - The thousands of lantens are lit during this.
Kasuga Matsuri ("Monkey Festival") (March 13) - Features gagaku and bugaku dance performances. 

Open: 
Shin'en Park and Homotsuden Hall: 9am - 4pm

Admission: 
Free (except for Shin-en Park (¥525) and Homotsuden Hall (¥420)

Access: 
Take bus No.70,97,98 from JR Nara Station and get off at Kasuga Taisha Hondenmae. Alternative you can walk from either Kintetsu Nara station or JR Nara Station through Nara Park in around 30 to 40 minutes.

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