Muraya Shrine

Address 426 Kurado, Tawaramoto-cho, Shiki-gun, Nara
Phone 0744-32-3308

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Overview

Muraya Shrine (Muraya Niimasu Mifutsuhime Shrine) is a Grand Shrine recorded in the ancient text Engishiki. It is said to be the auxiliary shrine of Omiwa Shrine (Miwa district in Sakurai City, Nara) and is dedicated to the gods Mifutsuhime and Omononushi. The ancient text Nihon-shoki records that the gods of Muraya gave an oracle to Prince Oama during the Jinshin War. This suggests Muraya Shrine which is located along the Nakatsu Michi was an important strategic center during the Jinshin War. Also, a climax forest consisting of Ichiigashi (evergreen oak), which is the town tree, remains on the grounds. The shrine’s forest is a Designated Cultural Property of Nara.

Onda Matsuri Festival

An ox handler leads a person dressed as an ox and performs a ritual. It is said that if the ox runs about wildly, it will be a year of good harvest. The Shinto priest will perform a rice planting ceremony and the pine seedlings used are handed out to local farmers and festival visitors. The festival ends with a rice cake toss.
Date: February 11

Nagoshi Oharai

The Shinto ritual of Nagoshi Oharai (Minazuki Harai) is held in early summer. It is a festival to give thanks for the peaceful 6 months and expel impurities while praying for good health in the coming 6 months. It started as a court ceremony in the Nara period and is said to be the oldest religious festival in Japan.
Date: June 30

Aki Matsuri Festival

On the eve of the festival, mikos (shrine maidens) conduct purification rituals on visitors. At the main festival, ancient kaguras (sacred music and dances) such as Hira Kagura, Ogi no Mai, and Tsurugi no Mai are performed for the gods.
Date: October 9 (eve of festival), 10 (main festival)