What to Expect
Numerous historical spots and natural sites are located along theNankai railroad line in Osaka prefecture.
I would like to take you to Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine on a street car called the "Chinchin-densha", established about 100 years ago. You can feel the nostalgic atmosphere of good old days.
The Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine was founded in 211 and is dedicated to the sea gods which are the Sumiyoshi Sanjin (Sumiyoshi three gods) and the Empress Jingu.
It's the headquarters of the approximately 2,300 Sumiyoshi shrines nationwide.
About 2.35 million people visited the shrine during the first three days of the New Year in 2013. This number was ranked in the 7th among shrines and temples in Japan.
The main shrine was built in 1810 using one of Japan's oldest shrine structure styles called "Sumiyoshi-zukuri style."
It consists of 4 buildings from the First to Fourth Sanctuaries of the same shape and size, which are all designated as National Treasures. When you walk through the front gate to cross a beautiful vermillion bridge called "Taikobashi" or drum bridge, first you'll see the third main shrine.
Various Shinto rituals are held there, such as the "Otaue ceremony" or rice planting ceremony, which is a traditional event to pray for rich harvests. Another is the "White Horse Shinto Ritual" to rid people of evil spirits as they watch a white horse galloping around the shrine grounds.
Then we'll move to Sakai-higashi Station by train, you can see a panoramic view of Osaka city including Abeno Harukas (the tallest building in Japan) and the "Cluster of Mozu Burial Mounds" from the observation deck on the 21st floor of Sakai City Hall. A typical example of a Mozu Burial Mound is "the mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku." It is the largest keyhole-shaped burial mound in Japan with a length of 486 meters, a width of 306 meters, and a total area of about 464,000 square meters. It is said to have been built in the 5th century. It is referred to as one of "the World's three largest burial mounds" along with the Great Pyramid in Egypt and the Mausoleum of the first Qin Emperor in China.
In front of the mausoleum, there is the Daisen Park which provides a great place for visitor's to rest and relax. In the park, there are a lot of facilities such as the Sakai City Museum, the Sakai City Tea house "Shin-an", the Peace Tower, and a Japanese garden with a total area of approximately 26,000 square meters. You can watch a video about the cluster of Mozu Burial Mounds at the museum, have sweets and a cup of powdered green tea at "shin-an", and appreciate the beautiful Japanese garden.
Why don't you join the tour of Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine and the largest keyhole-shaped burial mounds in Japan ?