Izumo

Japan’s new eight-headed dragon license plates might be the coolest in the entire world【Pics】

The Yamata no Orochi is ready to leap out of the annals of mythology and onto your car.

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Divinely delicious-looking Japanese chocolates draw inspiration from ancient Shinto tradition

Magatama beads have been around for millennia, but this is the first time we’ve seen them in sweet, edible form.

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Izumo’s Starbucks, a stone’s throw away from the gathering place of Shinto’s eight million gods

Shintoism has such a large pantheon of gods that the religion even has a structured way in which they all keep in touch with each other. Every October, the deities enshrined across the nation are said to gather in Shimane Prefecture’s Izumo Taisha Shrine, where they convene for their annual divine meeting.

We imagine it’s a busy conference, considering that some eight million deities are thought to attend. So we’re sure several of them were happy to find Izumo City now has a Starbucks, with the same tasty beverages the chain serves all over Japan, but with Japanese décor that’s unique to Izumo.

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Three deities spotted in the sky during the month without gods

According to the old Japanese lunisolar calendar, the tenth month of the year is Kannazuki or Kaminashizuki, the Month When There Are No Gods, as it was believed that during this month all of the deities would leave their homes and gather in Izumo to discuss what had happened over the last year. A bit like an annual deity convention, where we imagine Susa-no-o gets drunk, embarrasses Amaterasu until she hides in her room again, and then shows off his big sword.

If you happen to be in Izumo, the Hotel Marriott of Japanese gods, the tenth month is instead called Kamiarizuki, or the Month When There Are Gods. It might be a bit literal, but at least it gets the point across clearly, right? And, of course, we’re in the middle of the tenth month now! So there are quite a few people making their way to Izumo to enjoy a bit of nature and maybe catch a few hungover deities late for a workshop.

But people aren’t the only ones making a stop by Izumo–last week three Suns appeared in the sky over the shrine!

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