I eventually had a chance to travel Izumo, Shimane (with neighboring cities included) and visited several shrines. My name was bestowed to me from Futaarasan Shrine (二荒山神社) in Nikko where Okuni (大国主命) is enshrined and I made up my mind to visit Izumo Taisha (出雲大社) someday. Okuni is enshrined there, just to let you know...
Izumo is sort of one of the places of Japan Myths and tales with tons of ancient and impressive shrines scattered in an old Izumo Province (出雲国). When compared to Nikko, not so many foreigners were there (as far as I've seen). That is probably due to an inconvenient access from Tokyo and I think that renting a car is the best way to travel there.
Before visiting Izumo Taisha, I went to more than 10 shrines in one day and a half by renting a car from Yamaguchi city. Altogether, I drove 601 km within 48 hours!
The first shrine to upload in this entry is Suga Shrine (須我神社), located in Unnan city (雲南市). Susanoo (スサノオ), as well as his wife, Kushinadahime (櫛名田比売), and their offspring, Suganoyuyamanushiminasarohikoyashima no mikoto (清之湯山主三名狭漏彦八島野命), are enshrined there. Besides, the spirit of Takeminakata (建御名方神) in Suwa Taisha (諏訪大社) is transferred there.
It is said that the shrine was turned from the Palace that Susanoo built after his triumph of the extermination of Yamata no orochi (ヤマタノオロチ). Please visit here for more detail if you're interested in this monster. Since this was the first Palace being made in Japan, the shrine is called Nihon hatsunomiya ( = the first Palace in Japan/日本初之宮). He decided to settle there with his wife because when they arrived there, he felt good (sugasugashii/すがすがしい). That's why it's called Suga (須我).
When I arrived there, I did not feel good, because it was raining... Yes, it's currently notorious rainy season in Japan...
Since Susanoo felt really good, he made a poetry, Waka (和歌). That was the first Waka and due to this fact, this shrine is also known as the birthplace of Japan poetry.
When I got there, it was around 8 AM when the priest just started to work. There was almost nobody there and I had a breakfast after taking photos there.
What it says in the announcement at Haiden Hall (拝殿) in the photo above is that the shrine encourages visitors to visit Okumiya (奥宮), located at Mt. Yakumo (424.1 m). It's around 2 km away from Suga Shrine. I decided to get there by car.
To be continued