Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Description: 

Located on the eastern foot of Hiei Mountain, the Shinto shrine Hiyoshi Taisha is famous as the leading shrine of more than 3800 Hiyoshi, Hie and Sanno Jinja shrines across Japan. The shrine is believed be established in about 91 B.C, owning one among the longest histories of religious sites recorded in Japan's oldest history record called Records of Ancient Matters. Hiyoshi Taisha was born in Shiga for the God of Hiei Mountain and the God keeping the peace for the whole country. Even its name Hiyoshi means good day in literal sense. The shrine is the symbol of a good life to every locals, the destination for all eyes looking for the better life.

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Hiyoshi Taisha welcomes visitors from distance by several sets of Torii gate dotted along the approach including the white gate on the Sando road,the entrance red gate and the unique shaped Sanno gate. The Hiyoshisankyo Bridge spanning across the Omiya River which flows throughout the grounds is the oldest stone bridge in Japan. An other interesting truth is that monkey is considered as the Messenger of God here at Hiyoshi Taisha then you can see them in cage around the precinct and even turning into little lively engraved decorations on roofs of some buildings. After entering the vermilion lacquered Nishi Hongu Romon gate, you will meet the main structure of Hiyoshi Taisha.

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It is said that Hiyoshi Taisha once owned more than 100 shrines before being burnt significantly by Oda Nobunaga in 16th century. Nowadays, the total number of buildings is 21, including the East shrine Higashi Honguu and the West shrine Nishi Honguu. Nishi Honguu was built in 1586, housing the portable shrines for Sanno festival. From Nishi Honguu, you need to cross a bridge and a long path leading through woods and red iron lanterns with a sacred rock. Higashi Honguu has the relatively same look with Nishi Honguu but a little more elevated veranda with a thatched roof.

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Hiyoshi Taisha holds the famous Sanno festival starting on the very first Sunday of March to April 15th to pray for a rich harvest. The festival is believed to have impressive tradition for about 1300 years or more. An other festival at Hiyoshi Taisha is Momiji festival. From November 15th to 30th, the time autumn dyes all 3000 maple trees around the temple with such a blazing red color, the whole path from Hiyoshisankyo  bridge to Sanno torri gate is lit up with dazzling yellow light. Visitors enjoy walking along the path in a liquid of red and yellow created by the yellow light from lanterns on the ground reflecting in red leaves, breathing deeply and feeling about how good Hiyoshi Taisha has brought to their lives.

Open time: 

From 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Lát admission at 4:00 pm.

Admission: 

-Adult: 300 yen

-Children: 150 yen

How to access: 
-Take a 10 minute walk from Sakamoto station on the Ishiyama-sakamoto line of Keihan Electric Railway
-Take a 20 minute ride by car from Kyoto-higashi IC on Meishin Expressway.