Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is the main shrine of the Sanno Festival, which has more than 3,800 branch shrines around the country. It is home to the guardian diety of the Tendai sect of ancient Kyoto. The vast temple grounds contain close to 40 shrines as well as the east and west halls, which have been designated as national historical landmarks and contain many cultural properties. The Sanno Festival, which takes place every April, is one of the three big festivals of Lake Biwa. It is highly well known among residents of Shiga Prefecture for its changing autumn colors. Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is considered vital in warding off evil spirits due to its monkey diety Masaru. Originally, many monkeys lived on Mt. Hiei, and it is believed that over time they became important symbols for warding off evil. The name "Masaru" comes from the Japanese phrase for expelling evil spirits, and the monkey itself is known for its good luck. Masaru offers protection and answers prayers of victory and success.
|ADDRESS||Otsu Sakamoto 5-1-1|
|FEE||300 yen (270 yen for groups of more than 30 people)|
|ACCESS||On foot: 20-minute walk from JR Hieizan-Sakamoto Station
or a 5-minute walk from Keihan Sakamoto Station
By car: 10-minute drive from the Kosai Road Shimosakamoto Interchange
|PARKING AREA||50 spaces for normal-size vehicles|