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The Torii gate at the main entrance to the shrine. There are 5 on the grounds of the shrine.

The Torii gates are made of solid unpainted Japanese cedar.

The group of people that we were with. There were 5 foreigners there to hear the presentations about the shrine.

Kato-san explaining about the Torii gates. It was very cold, windy, and loud.

Ohtsuka-san explaining about the Ema prayer tablets.

Ema (prayer tablets) giving thanks for the blessings that the person had received.

Many students come to this shrine to ask for good fortune in school exams and entrance exams.

Nagai-san telling about the Tarou-an Tsubaki (camellia tree).

This tree is over 300 years old!

It blooms in the winter.

Shintani-san explaining about the Tamajari (gravel walkways) all through the shrine, and all shrines.

There are over 25,000 trees at Atsuta shrine. The oldest is ~1,300 years old!

Watanabe-san sharing about the stone bridge.

It's the oldest stone bridge in Nagoya. Its made up of 25 stones on the top. This bridge is part of the old main entrance to the shrine.

The pond where the turtles and ducks live.

Ito-san explaining and demonstrating the purification ritual before entering the shrine.

Sake barrel offerings.

The oldest tree on the grounds. It's a giant Camphor tree. The camphore tree is the symbol of Nagoya, and there are 7 of them here at Atsuta.

Snakes...yes SNAKES live inside this tree! We were told about 15-20 Japanese rattlesnakes live in there and are fed eggs. The snakes aren't venemous.

Kato-san explaining about the main hall. The hall is ~1900 years old and holds 1 of 3 sacred treasures of the Emperial family.

The Bugakushinji (court dance and music).

Ito-san explaining about the court dance and music building.

Ito-san playing the Ryuteki (dragon flute) which is from the Heian era (~1200 years ago).

Nobunaga-Bei wall. Nobunaga was a Samurai.

Usami-san telling about the wall. It's the best kept of it's kind. It's made of mud, lime, and grease.

The day was so cold that after the tour most of us went to a coffee shop 'nearby' (20 minute walk away!) to warm up and talk about the tour.