Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine


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Head shrine of all Sanno Shinto shrines in Japan.

Hiyoshi Shrine is located in Otsu, Shiga, and is well known as the head shrine of the roughly 3,800 Hiyoshi, Hie, and Sanno shrines throughout Japan built for worship of the so-called “Sanno-san (Mountain King) ” deities of Sannogongen. Situated at the foot of the 381-meter-high Mount Hachioji of the Hiei mountains, where at the time of the construction of the Heian-kyo (modern day Kyoto) it was considered guardian of the northeastern entry to city and prospered as protector of the capital against magic and natural disasters.
Worship of the Sanno deities spread from Hiyoshi Shrine across Japan. A fusion of Shinto and the Tendai school of Buddhism, its tenets call for the worship of the Sanno Sansei (Three Sacred Mountain Kings,) namely, Shakanyorai (Gautama Buddha), Yakushinyorai (the Medicine Buddha), and Amidanyorai (the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light). Also known as the Sanno shichisha (Seven Sanno Shrines) or the Sanno nijuichisha (21 Sanno Shrines), it is practiced at any number of auxiliary and subordinate shrines.
The present-day Hiyoshi Shrine comprises two main facilities and five subordinate ones, know collectively as the Seven Hiyoshi Shrines or the Seven Sanno Shrines, and is visited by many who pray for protection against misfortune due to being a particular age or coming from a particular direction.

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Masaru the monkey will help protect you against misfortune!

Masaru the monkey is the messenger for Hiyoshi Shrine, who will deliver your hopes for protection against misfortune to the deities. The Hiei mountains have always been a habitat for monkeys, so naturally monkeys have served as Hiyoshi Shrine messengers for as long as anyone can remember. The Japanese word masaru has a number of meanings, including “to remove a curse,” “to be superior,” and “to triumph,” and many Japanese people associate this word with good luck. Look up at the ceiling of the West Hall and you will see a figure of a monkey in each of the four corners, each in a different pose.
Hiyoshi Shrine also performs supplications for protection from misfortune throughout the year. Visitors come to ask for protection against misfortune due to age, for a happy home life in their new residence, for a safety journey to a faraway place, or for all kinds of things.
Ensconced in the forests that line the Omiya River, Hiyoshi Shrine is also a favorite spot for tourists who come the enjoy the sanguine hues of the autumn foliage.

Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine


5-1-1 Sakamoto, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture


9:00 am to 4:30 pm


Open daily


Adult, 300 yen ; Child, 150 yen




On foot from JR Hieizan Sakamoto Sta., about 20 min

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