Each month throughout 2020 the AJS-Q has been celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Brisbane Kobe Sister City relationship by highlighting aspects of Kobe.
This month we are featuring Ikuta Shrine
Ikuta Shrine, believed to be founded by the Empress Jingu in the 3rd Century AD, is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. It is a Shinto shrine venerating the Goddess/Kami Wakahirume-no-Mikoto.
In addition to the main building there are a number of other beautiful features in the grounds. These include 14 smaller shrines, a flowing stream, a waterfall, a pond and a row of striking vermilion tori leading to Ikuta Forest.
Interestingly, the City of Kobe owes its name to an ancient association with the shrine. The name Kobe is derived from ‘Kanbe’, the name of the families assigned by the Emperor in 806 AD to support and protect the deity of Ikuta.
The shrine has been rebuilt and repaired over the centuries. It has survived wars, floods, and earthquakes and stands as a symbol of resurrection, resilience, and hope.
These days, businesses, offices, shops and cafes border the shrine precinct that was once surrounded by forest and woodland. Yet, despite it’s modern day, down-town location, the shrine and its grounds continue to provide a serene oasis for contemplation and prayer; an opportunity to connect with ancient Japan or just enjoy nature.
Ikuta Shrine is an easy 10 minute walk from Sannomiya Station in Kobe’s CBD.