Shinto shrines are found all across Japan. On Mt. Shinto in Okayama, you can take part in nippai, a sunrise meditation and prayer session. The Shinto tradition places importance on the sun, and this experience allows all to take part in this peaceful and enlightening custom on a mountain summit.
You will spot temples and shrines everywhere you go in Japan. While temples are the place of worship in Buddhism, shrines are associated with Japan’s indigenous set of beliefs known as Shinto.
Similar to animistic religions, Shinto identifies deities (called kami) in nature, ancestors, and other people and objects. The sun is of particular value.
In Shinto, the supreme kami is the sun goddess, Amaterasu. Additionally, Mt. Fuji is associated with the popular tradition of raiko,* watching the first sunrise of the new year. The sun has been a part of Japanese tradition for centuries.
At Mt. Shinto in Okayama, you can participate in the ritual of nippai, which pays respect to the sunrise.
A 20-minute drive from JR Okayama Station, Mt. Shinto is home to the headquarters of Kurozumikyo (Japanese), a religion with its roots in Shinto.
The founder, Munetada Kurozumi, is said to have achieved enlightenment by praying to the sun at the brink of death in the 19th century. Because of Kurozumi’s experience, his followers have continued praying to the sunrise in a ritual known as nippai.
Kurozumikyo proactively engages in discourse with people of other religions, as well as non-religious people. As a result, at Mt. Shinto, you will find people of various faiths and nationalities participating in nippai. I, the author of this article, also took part in the ritual in September 2019.
…… read the rest of the article on the MATCHA website: