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Kashima Jingu Shrine

Rumored to have been founded over 2400 years ago by the first emperor of Japan, this myth-shrouded shrine is one of the most significant in east Japan.

The story behind the founding of this shrine is lost to history, so myth has stepped in to take its place. It’s said that Kashima Jingu Shrine was founded by Jimmu, the first mythological emperor of Japan, in the 6th century BC. Even though that might be a dubious claim, it certainly is one of the oldest religious sites in all of Kanto.

The god enshrined here is the heavenly master of martial arts, so if you’ve been struggling to improve your nunchuck skills recently, then this is the place to go. It’s very easy to get there, as the shrine is located in the city of Kashima, just a short trip from Tokyo.

Aside from the altar itself, there is quite a bit more to see around the grounds of the shrine, including crystalline ponds and an enclosure for friendly deer. There are also plenty of stalls set up along the approach during peak season, selling local specialties like dumpling buns and sweetfish. You’ll also have a good chance of catching a festival here no matter when you visit, because over 80 of them take place here throughout the year!

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