From the court gate a broad paved walk leads to the haiden and shamusho at the opposite end of the court— spacious and dignified structures above whose roofs appears the quaint and massive gable of the main temple, with its fantastic cross-beams. This temple, standing with its back to the sea, is the shrine of the Goddess of the Sun.[ p.190]
But this shrine of the Goddess of the Sun is a spectacle of such splendour that for the first moment I almost doubt whether I am really in a Shinto temple. In very truth there is nothing of pure Shinto here. These shrines belong to the famous period of Ry-obu- Shinto, when the ancient faith, interpenetrated and allied with Buddhism, adopted the ceremonial magnificence and the marvellous decorative art of the alien creed. (p.191)
Since visiting the great Buddhist shrines of the capital, I have seen no temple interior to be compared with this. Daintily beautiful as a casket is the chamber of the shrine. All its elaborated woodwork is lacquered in scarlet and gold; the altar piece is a delight of carving and colour; the ceiling swarms with dreams of clouds and dragons. And yet the exquisite taste of the decorators— buried,doubtless, five hundred years ago—has so justly proportioned the decoration to the needs of surface, so admirably blended the colours, that there is no gaudiness, no glare, only an opulent repose. (p.191)
On the right side of the main court, as you enter, another broad flight of steps leads up to a loftier court, where another fine group of Sh-into buildings stands—a haiden and a miya; but these are much smaller,like miniatures of those below. Their woodwork also appears to be quite new. The upper miya is the shrine of the god Susano- o, brother of Amaterasu-oho-mi-Kami. (p.191)
To me the great marvel of the Hinomisaki-jinja is that structures so vast, and so costly to maintain, can exist in a mere fishing hamlet, in an obscure nook of the most desolate coast of Japan.” -end quote
In addition to these ancient shrine structures, when I visited, there was also a small display of art works by children from the local primary school, depicting scenes from myths relating to the gods of this particular shrine.
What a fine innovative project to involve the youth with the traditions of old! ^^