ISE, MIE PREFECTURE – The Japanese people are world famous for their love of sakura, the symbol of spring. Spread out your blankets, open up the picnic baskets and pop the corks: the cherry blossoms are a feast for the senses. As with any beauty, the petals cannot sustain their head-turning quotient for more than a few weeks, after which we watch them dance in the wind and carpet our walkways.
It is this fleeting season of hanami that is perhaps the most recognized symbol of Japan and its reverence and respect for nature. Another tradition deserves its place in Japan’s storytelling to the world: Ise Jingu (officially known as “Jingu”) and its 20-year ritual known as Shikinen Sengu (shrine reconstruction ceremony), passed down across generations for over 1,300 years. The first Sengu was performed in 690 and the 62nd was conducted in 2013.
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