Ōmiwa-jinja

in Nara Prefecture

Ōmiwa-jinja is thought to be one of Japan's oldest Shintō shrines. It was built to worship Mt Miwa behind it and is rare in that it has no honden (main hall) to enshrine its kami (Shintō god), because the kami is considered inseparable from the mountain itself (and this is thought to be an older style of worship). Instead the shrine has a haiden (worship hall) last rebuilt in the 17th century, towered over by cedar trees.

Ōmiwa-jinja is also important as the official shrine of sake brewers (sake and Shintō have a long connection). Those cedar-frond balls that hang in front of sake breweries? They come from here.

The shrine is a five-minute walk from Miwa Station on the JR Man-yō Mahoroba line.