Shirayama Hime Jinja Shrine
Recommended Themes, Seasons and Activities
Natural Scenery：River and Waterfall, Flower and Tree
History：Shrines and Temples、Garden, Treasure Hall and Museum
Good Luck and Festivals：Spiritual Sites, Festival and Shinto Rituals
Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter
Cultural Experiences（Pray, Votive Plaques, Amulet, Vermilion Seal） / Walk / Photograph
Standing in expansive precincts on sacred Mount Hakusan
Mount Hakusan sits where three prefectures meet: Ishikawa, Fukui, and Gifu. Since the mists of time, the mountain has been held in high regard by people who practice mountain rites. At the trailhead on the Kaga (Ishikawa) side, dating back 2,100 years, Shirayama Hime Jinja Shrine is the head shrine of the national network of Shirayama Shrines, all of which revere Mt. Hakusan. Informally, people call the shrine Shirayama-san. The shrine is dedicated to Kukurihime no Mikoto, a female deity mentioned in Nihon Shoki, a chronicle that was completed in AD 720. The word kukuri can have the meaning of binding, and this association with tying, has led to the deity being regarded as the Goddess of Marriage.
Within the extensive precincts, the shrine stands surrounded by dry trees that reach into the sky. At 2,702 meters above sea level, the Okumiya upper shrine is located at Gozengamine, one of the peaks at the summit of Hakusan. Shrine lodgings for pilgrims and climbers are available at an altitude of 2,450 meters.Along the Pilgrim’s Way leading from the torii gateway at the entrance of the shrine, the refreshing sound of Biwa Waterfall greets visitors. Impressive nature is at hand all around the grounds. For example, one sacred sugi tree is about 800 years old, and oral history says the great zelkova is 1,000 years old.
In prayer for a soul mate, worshippers solemnly acquire amulets and offer votive tablets.
The term o-tsuitachi mairi, refers to the custom of visiting a shrine on the first of each month. Practitioners express gratitude to the gods for a month spent without mishap and request another month of good health, safety in the home, and business prosperity. Shirayama Shrines hold well-attended special services at 4:30 am on the first of each month. In particular, thronging to the New Year service on January 1, and packing out those held in May and September, worshippers are attracted during the three “o-mairi months.” The supplications on the votive tablets may go beyond household health and safety, and business prosperity, and requests to the Goddess of Marriage are also often seen. In acknowledgment of the original custom of supplicating via an actual horse, the votive tablets are known as ema, literally, “picture horses.” Since horses are expensive, the wooden tablet has come to serve as a token. Musubi amulets to attract a person who will hold you dear, and others, including musubi-mamori for an enduring relationship and sachi-mamori for happiness, are also popular.
Shirayama Hime Jinja Shrine
|105-1 Sannomiyamachi Ni, Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture
|Shrine counter open during daytime; shrine itself can be visited during 24 hours
|Open daily (Treasure Hall closed during winter: Dec.–Mar.)
|Free of charge (Treasure Hall, 300 yen)
|By car from Hokuriku Railroad Ishikawa Line Tsurugi Sta., about 10 min By Kaga-hakusan Bus from Hokuriku Railroad Ishikawa Line Tsurugi Sta. to Ichnomiya, about 5 min