Autumn Foliage is a Landmark of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine in Shiga!


When autumn deepens, we welcome autumn leaves season here and there in Japan. Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine in the Otsu City of Shiga Prefecture is a famous tourist spot in Shiga prefecture as it can boast a scenery with beautiful autumn leaves.
There are about 3000 maples along with the shrine sights, and of course, a great view on Lake Biwa is terrific from the precincts of the shrine. Besides, since ancient times, Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine was famous for monkeys.

History of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is the main of over 2000 Hiyoshi, Hie, and Sanno shrines all over Japan.
Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine appears in Kojiki for the first time. Kojiki is the oldest history book in Japan. It was composed by Hieda no Are and Oh no Yasumaro under the request of the Emperor Tenmu in 712. However, as Emperor Tenmu passed away, Kojiki was presented to the Empress Genmei, who transferred the capital from Fujiwara-Kyou to Heijou-Kyou.

No one exactly knows when Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine was built. According to Kojiki, however, Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine had been transferred from a top of Hiei Mountain to the current location seven years after the Emperor Sujin was enthroned in the third century.

Sanno Genhitsu Shinkun, who was enshrined at Tokusei Temple of Mount Tendai- the main mountain of Tendai Sect in China had a strong connection with the shrine. Thus, Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine became known as Sanno Gongen, which became a popular name for this shrine as well. When Oda Nobunaga burned down Hieizan in 1571, Hiyoshi Taisha shrine burned and collapsed. The buildings that you can see currently have been built in 1586.

Hiyoshi Taisha shrine is famous for Sanno Festival, which is one of the three major festivals of Lake Biwa. No wonder that its fantastic scenery with autumn foliage attracts so many tourists every year.

The Highlights of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine

There are a lot of smaller shrines in vast premises of Hiyoshi Taisha shrine. Also, there are about 3000 maples, national treasures, important cultural assets, and others spots for sightseeing. So, if you have free time, it would be better to visit the Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine without rush.
“Masaru (monkeys of God)” is the name of the monkey in this shrine. When Masaru realize their death by themselves, they go to a place called Sarudzuka to die. You can find about 70 monkey mounds in the precincts.

Details and Access

Dates: Early November to late November
You can enter from 9: 00 to 16: 30.
The entrance is 300 Yen.
However, you can walk in for free only during the light up from 17: 00 to 20: 30.
Light-up takes place from 17: 00 to 20: 30 from middle November to late November.

Place: Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Address: 5-1-1 Sakamoto, Otsu-City, Shiga Prefecture

Contact Information:
・077-578-0009 Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine
・077-578-6565 Sakamoto Tourist Society

Official HP (Japanese Only):


By Train

About 10 minutes on foot from Keihan Railway Sakamoto Station
About 20 minutes on foot from JR Mt. Hiei Sakamoto Station

By Car

About 20 minutes through Nishi Ohtsu bypass from the Meishin Highway Kyoto Higashi IC


Closing Remarks

Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine can boast with an ancient history. If you visit Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine, please enjoy appreciating not only autumn leaves but also Japanese traditional history.
There are a lot of monkeys in the precincts of this shrine. So please pay attention to your belongings. Otherwise, they can steal anything.

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I would like to introduce information about fascinating events or festivals in Japan towards the world. I don't know anything wonderful in Japan even though I'm Japanese. However, I want to rediscover something beautiful in Japan at the same time.

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