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Kirishima Jingu Shrine

霧島神宮

This grand vermillion shrine is known for its colorful, carved exterior, which contrasts with the cedar forest around it. The shrine is close to Kirishima Jingu Station, a little over an hour from the city of Kagoshima by train. This is actually a newer location for an ancient shrine near Mt. Takachiho. The original shrine suffered repeated damage from volcanic eruptions, and was rebuilt at the current site in 1715. The shrine is steeped in mythology. It is believed that Ninigi no Mikoto, the grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu, first descended from Heaven to rule the Earth at the site of the original shrine. He was said to have married a local princess and produced the lineage that would become the Japanese imperial family.

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