See the sacred sword at Atsuta Jingu
Atsuta Jingu is Nagoya’s holiest shrine. The alcove of peace and quiet is home to ancient treasures, austere Shinto architecture and a 1,000-year-old camphor tree. The large shrine complex was built as a residence of Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess, and the Five Great Gods of Atsuta, which are known as the parents of the indigenous people of the Nagoya area. While tiny shrines are spread throughout every town and city in Japan, Atsuta Jingu is a close-up look at a site entirely devoted to Shinto. The architectural forms here are almost as old as Japan itself: low-lying rustic wood and gold huts enshrine deities behind layers upon layers of fences, gates and walls in a vast, winding complex. You can visit the treasure hall to see ancient mirrors, weapons, masks, tapestries and more on display. To get to the Atsuta Shrine, take the Meijo or Meitetsu-Nagoya subway lines to Jingu Mae station, which is directly in front of the shrine complex.