A shrine, to protect people from misfortune and disasters. It’s also famous for autumn colors.

Hiyoshi-Taisha, (日吉大社) is the head shrine of approximately 3,800 Hiyoshi, Hie, and Sanno-jinja shrines throughout Japan at the foot of Mt. Hachiojiyama, a part of the Hieizan mountain range. The shrine is the local deity of Sakamoto, the temple town of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple.

When the capital was transferred to Kyoto in 794, Hiyoshi-Taisha was located in the northeastern direction of the capital. But it was considered to be an unlucky direction, so the shrine was moved to the present location. Since then, Hiyoshi-Taisha became a well reputed as a shrine to protected people from misfortune and disasters.

Hiyoshi-Taisha spreads a wide area with many shrine buildings including the Higashi-hongu and the Nishi-Hongu, the Romon gate, the Sanno torii gate.

The Higashi-hongu, The Nishi-hongu, and the main buildings are all built in a very rare architecture known as “Hie-zukuri”. There are various important cultural properties on the precincts. The Hyoushi-sangu which is made of stone. The Romon gate which is dyed vermilion. The Sanno torii gate is shaped different from the other torii gates, inscribing the character for mountain “山” on the top.

● The Nishi-Hongu
romon gate
● The Romon Gate


A huge sacred rock and the monkey rock.

There is a massive rock called “Kogane-no-oiwa” at the Higashi-hongu. The rock is the biginning place to worship as a god.

“Masaru”, monkeys known as divine messengers are very important at Hiyoshi-Taisha. The shrine own 2 monkeys, and there are 4 monkey sculptures on the 4 corners of the roof of the Romon gate. There is also a large rock that looks like a monkey’s face on the path to the Higashi-hongu. Visitors may find more images of these important and worshiped monkeys.

● Kogane-no-oiwa
hiyoshi monkey rock
● The monkey rock

Autumn colors

Hiyoshi-Taisha is the one of the best spots for autumn colors in Shiga. There are about 3,000 maple trees in the precincts, and every year from early November to early December, they turn into the brilliantly colored autumn leaves.

Address : Japan, 〒520-0113 Shiga-ken, Ōtsu-shi, Sakamoto, 5 Chome−1−1

Access : 10-minute walk from Sakamoto-Hieizanguchi on the Keihan Ishiyama line. 20-minutes walk from Hieizan-Sakamoto station on the JR Kosei line.

Hours : 9:00 to 16:30

Admission : 300 yen


hiyoshi-taisha illumination

Hiyoshi-Taisha Autumn Color Evening Illumination

The leaves of 3000 maples and other trees color the vast precincts of Hiyoshi Taisha beyond its torii gate. The magnificent main building exists in harmony with the great nature surrounding it, and the shrine is well known as a place to enjoy truly resplendent fall colors. During the fall season, festivities include a tea ceremony, traditional plays and evening illumination of the trees.

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