Official

Sanno Head Shrine Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Let's find the symbol "God Monkey (Masaru)" that will bring benefits.

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Shrine

Having been built about 2100 years ago at the foot of Mt.Hiei (Hieizan), it is the head shrine of 3,800 Hiyoshi, Hie, and Sanno shrines nationwide. Because it is located in the Omote-kimon (northeast) of the capital at that time, it is worshiped as an apotropaic magic against evil for the capital, a shrine that prevents disasters, and a guardian deity of the Hieizan Enryakuji Temple nearby. The benefits are "apotropaic magic" to prevent disasters related to directions and "apotropaic magic" to prevent disasters in life in advance.

In the precincts divided into two areas, Higashi-hongu and Nishi-hongu, there are nearly 40 shrines deifying various gods, and all gods are collectively called "Hiyoshi Okami".  Likewise, the main shrine of both Higashi-hongu and Nishi-hongu has a special architectural style called Hie-zukuri and is designated as a national treasure, visitors may visit the buildings designated as important cultural properties there.

The noticeable thing in Hiyoshi Taisha is the decoration of monkeys. Since ancient times, monkeys have been called "Masaru" as a messenger of God and have been regarded as a symbol of apotropaic magic against evil. Because it also leads to the same pronunciation of "evil leaves" and "exceed",it is considered to bring benefits from apotropaic magic for directions,apotropaic magic against misfortune, praying for winning, and praying for success.

The Japanese maples (Momiji) of 3000 are planted in the precincts, and it is popular as one of the best spots for autumn leaves in the Kansai area as well. The best time to see them is from mid-November to early December.

Among the various events held every month, the most famous one is the "Sannosai" which prays for universal peace (Tenkataihei) and the huge harvest (Gokokuoujou). It starts on the first Sunday of March every year and lasts till April 14 for nearly a month and a half. The climax of the "Yoimiya-otoshi-shinji" held on April 13 is worth seeing, spectacular in a solemn atmosphere.

Highlights

  • It is a historic shrine that was built 2100 years ago, and the benefits are "apotropaic magic for directions" and "apotropaic magic against misfortune".
  • The symbol is a monkey which is considered as a messenger of God.
  • It is a famous spot for autumn leaves in the Kansai area.
  • The "Sannosai", which is held from March for a month and a half,is worth seeing such a spectacle.

Photos

  • A unique torii with a triangular decoration on the top.

    A unique torii with a triangular decoration on the top.

  • Higashi-hongu honden (main sharine), a national treasure

    Higashi-hongu honden (main sharine), a national treasure

  • Looking up, you will see a monkey decoration.

    Looking up, you will see a monkey decoration.

  • A rock on the path to Higashi-hongu. When standing back, the shape of a monkey's face becomes visible.

    A rock on the path to Higashi-hongu. When standing back, the shape of a monkey's face becomes visible.

  • A beautiful landscape that is colored red in autumn.

    A beautiful landscape that is colored red in autumn.

  • The program "Yoimiya-otoshi-shinji" among the "Sannosai" held during the cherry blossom season.

    The program "Yoimiya-otoshi-shinji" among the "Sannosai" held during the cherry blossom season.

Reviews

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  • 游西文

    賞楓絶佳地點,沒有太多人。

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Details

Name in Japanese
山王総本宮 日吉大社
Postal Code
520-0113
Address
5-1-1 Sakamoto, Otsu City, Shiga
Tel
077-578-0009
Closed
Open every day
Hours
9:00am-4:30pm
Admission
300 yen for Adults, 150 yen for Children.
Directions
1) 20-minute walk from Hieizan-Sakamoto Station of the JR Kosei Line. 2) 10-minute walk from Sakamoto-hieizanguchi Station of the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line Credit Cards
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)