Kirime Shrine together with Fujishiro Oji and Takijiri Oji is one of the most well-known shrines of Kumano Kuju-ku (99) Oji shrines. The god enshrined at this shrine is believed to have such a strong divine power that it even stops a ship sailing off the coast. So, the honored god-body is placed to face the back of the building. In the ancient times, visitors had to offer prayers at the rear side of the main hall. And visitors on the New Year’s Day had to visit the shrine without wearing anything and must not say a word even when they meet their close friends. For 300 years from the Heian period (794-1192) through the Kamakura period (1192-1333), Kumano Pilgrim had been very popular. The emperor, Joko (abdicated emperor), and Hoo (pious ex-emperor) of the time as well as literary people all made the pilgrim visit to Kumano. The Gosho-Goten Hall in the precinct was used as the lodgings for the imperial family. The old tree called “Horuto-no-ki” is said to be over 300 years old and it is a prefecturally designated Cultural Property.
- Nishinoji, Inami-cho, Hidaka-gun, Wakayama Prefecture, 649-1528
- Kirime Shrine