Established in 768 and rebuilt several times over the centuries, Kasuga-taisha is the shrine of the Fujiwara Family and famous for its many bronze and stone lanterns.
Alongside the Kasugayama Primeval Forest near it, the Kasuga-taisha is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”.
The shrine became the object of imperial patronage during the early Heian period. In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered imperial messengers to be sent out to report on the important events related to the guardian kami of Japan. These Heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines including the Kasuga Shrine.
From 1871 through 1946, Kasuga Shrine was officially designated as one of the Kanpei-taisha, or one of the few first ranked of government supported shrines.