Winter at Ise Jingu. Photo by K. Sugisaka taken on 2019.01.27.
As you know from the previous post about welcoming the new year at Asadori Myoujin shrine, the winter solstice ceremony marks the beginning of a new year.
Ise Jingu in Mie Prefecture is an ancient Shinto shrine. Throngs of people visit Ise Jingu, especially in January. To view the sunrise over the Ise Jingu torii in winter is a popular and sacred event from ancient times until even now.
When we received this photo from Sugisaka-san, although it was taken in the afternoon more than a month after the winter solstice, it reminded us of similar solar observations that take place at the Kanayama Megaliths. On the pages of Iwakage, Okunomichi, and WoshiteWorld, we have described other ways in which ancient people have watched the sun.
OBSERVATIONS AT KANAYAMA MEGALITHS
Summer Observations at Kanayama Megaliths
For the readers of Iwakage’s blog, we remind you that the Kanayama Megaliths have solar observations before and after the summer solstice, at Senkoku-ishi.
3/21 – 9/23, 90 days before and after summer solstice, the sun rises over Stone C at Senkoku-ishi.
Sunrise over Stone C, summer.
4/22 – 8/20, 60 days before and after summer solstice, an arrow-shaped spot of light appears in the chamber of Senkoku-ishi, reaching the left end of a stone board on summer solstice day.
Arrowhead of light inside Senkoku Ishi, summer.
5/21 – 7/22, 30 days before and after summer solstice, a dashed line appears in Senkoku-ishi. A striking dashed spotlight appears which is enjoyed by many, year after year.
Dashed spotlight in Senkoku Ishi, summer 30 days before and after
Winter Observations at Kanayama Megaliths
10/23 – 2/20, 60 days before and after the winter solstice, at Higashinoyama, the sunrise is viewed between Stones R and S.
Winter sunrise at Higashinoyama, Stones R and S.
The above four images are from the Guidebook of Kanayama Megaliths.
OBSERVATIONS OF SUMMER SOLSTICE IN HAWAII
Twenty-five days before and after the summer solstice in Honolulu, the sun will pass directly overhead at local noon. This, too, can be an indicator of summer solstice day exactly midway between the zenith dates. This event is popularly called Lahaina Noon.
OBSERVATIONS AT ISE JINGU
Winter Solstice Sunrise Observation at Ise Jingu
Sugisaka-san has provided the following information about the sunrise event. On winter solstice morning, the sun rises over the center of the eastern torii at Uji bridge. One month prior to, and one month after, winter solstice day, the sun rises from the trees on the left of the torii. This page on the Ise Jingu website shows the winter sunrise event,
Winter solstice sunrise at Ise Jingu, postcard by Kankan.