Located outside of the town of Sawara and little known to foreign tourists, this shrine is dedicated to the protector god of swordsmen and the military enlisted in general: Futsunushi no Mikoto. Naturally, samurai and other assorted weapon-wielders have held this place dear for a long time.
If you’re planning on getting into a boxing match/bar fight any time soon, then you might want to say a prayer here for good luck. For all of us of the non-violent inclination, there’s plenty of rich culture to absorb instead. The history alone is quite outstanding — it’s thought that people have worshipped here since 653 BC.
This extensive history makes one of the most highly-regarded Shinto shrines in Japan. As one of the most popular and significant shrines in the country, Katori Jingu Shrine has generated a huge number of spinoffs: 400 branch temples around Japan. This headquarters location boasts an impressive pavilion which dates back over 300 years (ancient by the standards of Japan’s fire-prone historic buildings).