Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture boasting the largest size in Japan. In the northwest there is “Shirahige-Jinja Shrine” called “Itsukushima of Omi,” reminiscent of the World Heritage Itsukushima Shinto shrine. A magnificent scenery with big torii at Lake Biwa is wonderful, in recent years it has become famous even as a sacred place, and the number of worshipers is increasing.
“Shirahige-Jinja Shrine” is a shrine facing Lake Biwa which is the largest lake in Japan, located in Takashima City, northwestern Shiga Prefecture. It is a shrine with a long history and it is regarded as the oldest shrine in the Omi area. This place is also said to be the grand head shrine of Shirahige-jinja Shrine nationwide.
To Shirahige-Jinja Shrine, many people come from long ago as attracted by the scenery of the red torii lying in Lake Biwa which is its symbolic existence. Torii lying in Lake Biwa with Oki-shima Island as background, it is a scenery that is actually a drawing that seems to be like Itsukushima Shinto shrine. The view of the day is wonderful, but the scenery around evening is also exceptional. By all means, please look at the torii above the lake in various time zones. About 2 hours from sunset on Saturdays and Sundays, torii on the lake is lighted up.
The god of Shirahige-Jinja Shrine is “Sarutahiko-no-mikoto”. Also, as you can see from its name (‘Shirahige’ means white beard), there is a benefit to longevity. Also, here, it is gathering faith widely as a god of marriage, being blessed with children, traffic safety, ship safety, etc., all directions of life.
This shrine is located along Route 161 which is a main road running on the west bank of Lake Biwa. Originally this shrine faced the lake, but now the precincts are separated by the national highway. The national road runs between Torii on the lake and the main hall. For this reason, in order to go see the torii on the lake, you have to cross the state road with a lot of traffic. When crossing the national highway, please be careful enough for traffic.
“Shirahige-Jinja Shrine” in a slightly inconvenient place, but the west side of the lake area is a truly wonderful place to see the scenery. There you can taste the wonderful scenery worth visiting. Please visit there.
The head shrine of all Shirahige-jinja shrines in Japan
The Shirahige-Jinja (the Shirahige Shinto shrine) is located in Takashima-city, Shiga between the “Biwako” (Lake Biwa) and the Hira mountains. It is the head shrine of all Shirahige-jinja shrines existing more than 150 in Japan.
The foundation was in the B.C. fourth century
Speaking of “Shirahige-Jinja” (The gray mustache shrine), the shrine in Mukoujima of Tokyo is famous, but In the first place this is the head of it.
It is believed that Shirahige-Jinja in Tokyo was separated and transferred from the Shrine of here.
It is said that the foundation of this shrine was in the B.C. fourth century, when Yamato-Hime-no-Mikoto(Princess of Japan) came to this place.
It is said to be oldest Shinto shrine in Oomi (around Shiga prefecture in old times), too.
The description of Tensonkorin of the Kojiki
The building of the current precincts was built in Momoyama era by Hideyori Toyotomi, and it is designated as an important cultural property.
Sarutahiko-no-mikoto is worshiped in this place. It is God of “Michi hiraki” (the guidance and the opening a way) which is in the description of Tensonkorin (the sun goddess’s grandson’s descent to earth) of the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters).
God of “Michi hiraki”
When Ninigi-no-Mikoto, grandchild of Amaterasu-Omikami of Ise Grand Shrine, descended from Takamagahara where Amatsu-kami (god of heaven) lives in, it is Sarutahiko-no-mikoto to have volunteered for guidance.
So, he is called God of “Michi hiraki” (the opening a way), but “a way” have various meanings like “road safety”, “a voyage is safe,” and the meaning that he stand before myself and lead me to good direction.
Information(Access, Price/Charge, Tel, Address, Official site, etc.)
|Name:||Shirahige-Jinja (The Shirahige Shrine)|
|Adresse:||Ukawa 215 Takashima, Shiga 520-1122 Japan|
|Access:||JR Kosei-sen Line “Omitakashima-eki Station” (5 minutes by car)|
|Price / Charge:||Free|