Two of my friends have also written about our visit to the 外宮 (Geku), each with a different focus, and I recommend you read their posts. You can find excerpts below, and both have more interesting things on their blogs. 😉
Puckchan writes about the shrine’s history, customs surrounding it, art and so on.
“Pilgrims and visitors reached the Ise Jingu by land and not by sea, which also means that they were passing the four rivers in order to reach the Naiku or three in order to reach the Geku. The outer two were considered to be the outer border of the Shrine, the Kongo river being the distant border and the Hare river being the near border. The third river, Miya river, was used as a place of purification before visiting the Shrine.
The Saio travelled to the Shrine 3 times per year and stopped first at the Rikyu-in, going from there to Geku and then to Naiku.”
— From “Geku and rain” by Puckchan
Lars has more photos, and something that should be interesting for anyone who’s interested in ancient Japanese swords.
“An interesting thing among the holy treasures of Amaterasu-Omikami was her sword that is quite different from any Japanese sword I have seen before. It combines aspects of the Katana or Tachi with the older form of Tsurugi.”
— From “Geku -– second main shrine of Ise” by Lars