The Izumo region lies in rural Shimane Prefecture, West Japan. The area is steeped in mythology and folklore and since ancient times has been known as the Land of the Gods and as the birthplace of the Japanese spirit.
Wherever you go in the region - be it deep into the mountains, to the friendly towns and villages or even the modern day cities, you are never far from an ancient shrine or temple - which serves as a reminder that this is still very much the dwelling place of the Gods.
The Izumo Shinbutsu Pilgrimage is made up of twenty of such shrines and temples which are part of the Enza-no-kai - an organization of shrines and temples. The route takes you deep into the heart of the Izumo region in a large figure of '8' along Lake Shinji, Naka-umi Lagoon and through some outstanding scenery. The pilgrimage is unique in the fact that it incorporates two religions, Shinto and Buddhism, however, you do not have to be a practitioner of Shinto or Buddhism to make this pilgrimage.
Whatever your reason, be it an interest in Japanese history and mythology, a love of nature or the need for a break from the stresses and strains of modern living, you are most welcome to make this spiritual journey. We hope that as you make the pilgrimage you are touched by the 'en' that connects you to all things and cherish the harmony it brings.
So take your time, soak up the history, savour the natural beauty of the area and enjoy your time here among the Gods and Buddhas!
The Enza-no-kai Organization is made up of twenty shrines and temples in the prefectures of Shimane and Tottori, and combines the two religions of Shintoism and Buddhism. It was established with the aim of showing the world the importance of harmony and of respecting the 'en' that exist between us all, which has a long tradition in the Izumo region.
We also hope that many people will come to the Izumo region, the birthplace of the Japanese spirit, and that on this spiritual journey they will look deep within and find themselves as being a part of the great universe. With this aim, the group established the Izumo Shinbutsu Pilgrimage.