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3-Day Model Trip FOCUS

3-Day Model Trip FOCUS / Tokai / Oise-mairi (Visiting Ise)

Visiting Ise-jingu Shine is said to have become explosively popular during the Edo Period (1603 - 1867). The population of Japan was around 30 million at the time, but there is a record showing that 3.6 million people visited Ise-jingu in the space of about two months. Because it took such a lot of money and time to get to Ise-jingu from far away, one popular system used in villages all over the country was to form groups called Ise-ko. These saved up money so that a representative could go to pray on the group's behalf. Lots of people went with almost no money, receiving alms on the way ("o-kage mairi"), while others sneaked out of their place of employment ("nuke mairi"). Houses in the towns leading up to Ise Jingu Shrine used to give away food and footwear as charity. Visitors without money marked themselves out by carrying a water scoop. You can see this scene in detail at the O-kage-za in O-kage Alley.