Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine in Shiga | There is a monkey, the messenger of God!


Written by aki

masaru mikuji

In Shiga Prefecture, Japan, there is a shrine called one of the best power spots.

This is Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine

Here it is. This is Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine.

In the past, there was a palace capital called “Heian-kyo” near here.

Located to the northeast of Heian-kyo was the Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine, which is revered as a shrine that protects the Kimon (demon’s gate).


Such is the fame of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine that the messenger of the god is a “monkey”!


How did monkeys become messengers of God?

Monkeys are found throughout Japan. Among them, the Hiyoshi area has been said to be the home of monkeys since ancient times.

Before long, it came to be treated with great importance as an object to ward off evil.

At Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine, the monkey, the messenger of God, is called “MASARU(神猿)”.
Sometimes called “MASARU-SAN” in a friendly way.

In Japanese, the word for demon is “MA(魔)”.
Also, to walk away from there is called “SARU(去る),” and monkeys are also called “saru(猿)”.

It is probably called “MASARU-SAN” because it is a sacred monkey that avoids evil.


Incidentally, monkeys have been kept in the precincts of the temple for a long time.

There is a record in Japanese records from around 1400 that monkeys were kept here.


masaru mikuji

Incidentally, Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine has a very cute MASARU-SAN omikuji.

Even after drawing the fortune, it is cute to take it home and use it as an ornament.
MASARU-SAN might be able to ward off bad luck!


Hiyoshi Taisha is very mysterious!

I think Hiyoshi Taisha is a pleasant place for a stroll.

Hiyoshi Taisha

The breeze is very nice, especially in the summer. The fresh greenery is beautiful.

They say it’s one of the most popular places to see the fall foliage!


Hiyoshi Taisha

The last time I went for a walk, I found a sacred stone.

Upon further research, I found that this is called the “monkey spirit stone”.
Indeed, it may look a bit like a monkey profile.


Note the stone wall.

The area near Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is another unusual one.


That is this stone wall.
The beautiful stone walls piled up with natural stones of various sizes are said to be made by a technique called “Anoushu-zumi (穴太衆積み)”.


The stones of this stone wall are natural stones that have not been processed at all.

Master craftsmanship born around 1500. Amazing!



Aki’s Kodawari Point


Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is surrounded by nature and is very refreshing. It is a spot to go when I want to walk slowly.



Hello! I live in a place called Shiga, Japan. I'm not very good at English, but I'm writing this blog in the hope that I can convey some of Japan's beautiful places and delicious food to people overseas.