- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Japanese Phrases
Kasuga Taisha (Kasuga Shrine)
Kasuga Taisha (Kasuga Shrine) Review
Famous for the more than 2,000 stone mantoro (lanterns) that line its pathways, Kasuga Taisha is a monument to the Shinto tradition of worshipping nature. The lighting of the lanterns on three days of the year attracts large crowds that whisper with reverential excitement. February 3 is the Mantoro Festival, celebrating the beginning of spring, and August 14 and 15 are the Chugen Mantoro Festival, when the living show respect to their ancestors by lighting their way back to Earth for their annual visit.
Kasuga Taisha was founded in 768 and for centuries, according to Shinto custom, the shrine was reconstructed every 20 years on its original design—not merely to renew the materials but also to purify the site. It's said that Kasuga Taisha has been rebuilt more than 50 times; its current incarnation dates from 1893. After you pass through the orange torii (gate), the first wooden structure you'll see is the Hai-den (Offering Hall); to its left is the Naorai-den (Entertainment Hall). To the left of Naorai-den are the four Hon-den (Main Shrines). Designated as National Treasures, they are painted vermilion and green—a striking contrast to the dark wooden exterior of most Nara temples. To get to Kasuga Taisha from Nara Koen, walk east past the Five-Story Pagoda until you reach a torii. This path will lead you to the shrine.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Now that the flurry of November trip reports has come and gone (they were great!), I figure it’s time for one more, before the reports from spring cherry blossom-viewing visits start to come in. This Read more
After more than a month back from Japan, I’m happy to finally have a bit of a breather that allows me to start a trip report. Read more
I'm starting to plan a trip to Japan, and have questions about which international airport(s) to fly in and out of and how to get to various places we have in mind to sightsee.
I have a conference Read more
· News & Features
This week, we covered top destinations for great family getaways—from Disney World to dinosaur spotting. ... Read more
Go on location in Görlitz, Germany, to the transporting set of director Wes Anderson's film... Read more
Kick off spring with some of this year's best events and hotel packages in Washington, D.C.... Read more