Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Himure Hachimangu Shrine is the largest shrine in Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture and is located at the foot of Mount Hachiman. The shrine is very historic and has been visited by many Japanese historical figures. It was first established by Takenouchi no Sukune in 131. Emperor Ojin visited the shrine in 275 where he had a divine vision in which he saw two sacred rings around the sun. This lead to the name of the shrine “Himure no Yashiro Hachimangu”, which means Sun Gathering Shrine.

During the reign of Empress Jito (690-697) the shrine was renamed Himure Shrine after a famous poem. Emperor Ichijo ordered the shrine be built on top of Mount Hachiman as well as at the foot of the mountain in 991. In 1590, Toyotomi Hideyori moved the shrine to its present location in order to build a castle on top of the mountain.

Himure Hachimangu Shrine houses the “Homutawake no Mikoto” The God of War, making it a place that has been visited by many powerful warlords and warriors over the years including the Ashikaga and Tokugawa clans. Tokugawa Ieyasu worshiped at this shrine after the famous battle at Sekigahara in Gifu for long life and peace. After the abandonment of Hachiman Castle, Himure Hachimangu Shrine became the guardian of the town of Omihachiman and the Omi Merchants.

In 1966 the shrine was renamed Himure Hachimangu Shrine and today houses a lot of important cultural properties in its repository.

Today, the Sagicho Fire Festival is held here every March. The festival was originally started by Oda Nobunaga when he was in Azuchi. On New Year’s Day he would dress up in a unique costume and parade himself from Azuchi Castle to the town. The modern Sagicho Fire Festival involves festival floats, which are ignited with fire one after the other.

What to See at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Himure Hachimangu Shinto Gate

The main Shinto Gate to the shrine is very impressive and contains Komainu which are lion dogs and guardians of the shrine.

Gate to Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Shinto Gate to Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Komainu 1 at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Komainu 2 at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Temizu

The main purpose of the Temizu is purification and to cleanse your hands and mouth to purify yourself before praying at the shrine. This one is very interesting because it contains at the back some Hono Sakadaru which is sake devoted to the gods of the shrine.

Temizu at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Hono Sakadaru Sake for the Gods at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Kagura-den

The Kagura-den is a building devoted to Noh or the sacred Kagura dance.

Kagura-den at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Haiden

The Haiden is a hall of worship and this one is very impressive and stands out from the other buildings around the shrine.

Haiden at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Honden Main Hall

The Honden or Main Hall at Himure Hachimangu Shrine contains and houses the “Homutawake no Mikoto” The God of War.

Honden Main Hall at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Toro Stone Lanterns

There are many decorative stone lanterns called Toro, which can be found around the shrine and they are quite beautiful.

Toro at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Stone Lanterns at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Opening Hours

Himure Hachimangu Shrine is always open but the amulet shop closes at 5:00 pm

Entry Fee

Admission to the Shrine is free

How to Get There

JR Tokaido line to Omihachiman, then a 10 minute bus ride from Omihachiman Station to the shrine

Parking is also readily available if you come by car

Address: 257 Miyauchi-cho, Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture 523-0828

View Larger Map

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Himure Hachimangu Shrine is mid March to catch the famous Sagicho Fire Festival

Tip: This place is very beautiful in the early evening when the lights come on. You can also visit the Shin Machi Dori and Hachiman Bori Canal, which are located close by

Chochin at Himure Hachimangu Shrine

Photo Gallery

John Asano (98 Posts)

John Asano is a blogger, traveler and freelance writer living in Gifu, Japan. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he has lived in Japan now for over 12 years. John loves nothing better than picking up his camera and exploring all the amazing sights and attractions that Japan has to offer. He writes about the must see sights and attractions in Japan at Japan Travel Advice, as well as about Japanese culture and modern life on his blog Japan Australia. You can read more of his work at http://japan-australia.blogspot.com/


  • http://japan-australia.blogspot.com/ Japan Australia

    This is an amazing shrine that really comes alive during the evening. There is so much to see and do close by as well and it is all FREE!

  • http://zoomingjapan.com/ zoomingjapan

    Interesting. I think I haven’t been to that one yet! :)

  • http://japantraveladvice.com/ Japan Travel Advice

    It is definitely worth a visit Zooming Japan, so put Omihachiman on your list. You can see most of the main sights in a full day.

  • Pingback: A to Wa of Japan: Week 28 | Haikugirl's Japan()