Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine

A shrine revered by the imperial family along with Ise Jingu Shrine

Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine was built in 859 and is one of the three major Hachimangu shrines in Japan,
It is one of the three major Hachimangu shrines in Japan, and was revered by the imperial family as one of the two sacred shrines along with Ise Jingu Shrine.

It is also a representative shrine that protects the back ogimon (southwest) of Kyoto.
It was considered important along with Enryakuji Temple, which was located in the northeastern (omikado) direction of Kyoto.

It is located on top of Otokoyama (143 meters above sea level), southwest of the Kyoto basin,
The present shrine was built in 1634 in the Edo period (1603-1868).

The present shrine was rebuilt in 1634 by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third barbarian general of the Edo shogunate.
Ten buildings, including the main shrine, are designated as National Treasures.


In 859, Gyokyo (a disciple of Kukai), a monk of Daian-ji Temple in the southern capital, received an oracle at Usa Jingu Shrine (Usa City, Oita Prefecture), the head shrine of Hachiman Shrine in Buzen Province.

We will move to the mountain peak of Otokoyama, near the capital, to protect the nation.

The following year, Emperor Seiwa built a shrine on the grounds of Iwashimizu Temple (now Iwashimizu Shrine), where a sacred spring called "Iwashimizu" gushes forth.

Iwashimizu-dera Temple on the temple grounds was renamed Gokoku-dera Temple, and the temple was combined with Gokoku-dera Temple in a Shinto/Buddhist syncretism, adopting a miya-dera style.

Ninsho Sobyo

In 939, it was dedicated by the imperial family and the Imperial Court in place of the distant Usa Jingu Shrine.
The shrine was dedicated to the imperial family and the Imperial Court in 939, replacing the distant Usa Jingu Shrine,
It came to be called "Nisho Sobyo" along with Ise Jingu Shrine.

The shrine was revered as the god of royal castle protection and suppression, guarding the southwestern back gate of Kyoto, as well as the god of royal authority and water transportation.

God of Warriors and Victory

From the Middle Ages onward, it was worshipped by samurai families as the god of war, the god of bow and arrow, and the god of victory.

Since 1045, when Minamoto no Yoshiie (a son of Minamoto no Yoshiie) came to the shrine and took the name Hachimantaro, the shrine has been widely worshipped by the Minamoto clan, and its branches are located throughout the country.

Nobunaga Oda and Iemitsu Tokugawa

The earthen wall surrounding the shrine, dedicated by Nobunaga Oda, still exists and is called the "Nobunaga Wall.
A "golden gutter" donated by Nobunaga hangs where the eaves of both the inner and outer main shrines meet.

The shrine pavilions, the main dance hall, the east gate, the west gate, the corridor, and the tower gate were all rebuilt by Tokugawa Iemitsu, and all are designated as national treasures.

Otokoyama Hachimangu Shrine

Until the Edo period (1603-1867), Gokokuji Temple, Gokurakuji Temple, Bentendo Temple, and other pagodas and lodgings called "48 pagodas and lodgings on Otokoyama" lined the approach to the shrine.

The name was changed to "Otokoyama Hachimangu Shrine" due to the Shinto and Buddhist Separation Order issued by the Meiji government. In 1918, the name was changed back to "Iwashimizu Hachimangu" and has remained the same to this day.


The grounds of Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine can be roughly divided into two parts: the upper part, where the main shrine is located, on top of Mt.

The shrine pavilions in the Senate are of a unique structure called "Hachiman-zukuri," with the Mai-den (dance hall), Mide-den (hall of offerings), and Honden (main hall) leading from the tower gate to the back of the building.
Since its construction in 859, the shrine has burned down several times, undergone 14 times of construction and 17 times of repair, and the present structure was rebuilt by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1634.

The main hall is divided into an inner hall and an outer hall, because the deities are said to move into the outer hall during the day and into the inner hall at night.
It is designated as a National Treasure because it retains the majestic ancient style of the shrine and is decorated in the modern style.

To visit the Senju, visitors must take a cable car from the foot of the mountain to the top or walk up the approach.

Tongu, the main shrine building, is located at the foot of the mountain. This Tongu is the waiting place for the portable shrine during festivals and is equivalent to the Goryabisho at other shrines.
It is said that a merchant from Amagasaki, who was trading with the Sung Dynasty, prayed to the shrine and escaped dangers at sea, and the pagoda was erected to express his gratitude and appreciation.

An anecdote written in Tsurezuregusa

One of Japan's three most famous literary works, "Tsurezuregusa," written around 1330, is famous for the story of a man who mistook the Takara Shrine, a shrine at the foot of the mountain, for Hachiman Shrine.

In "Tsurezuregusa," paragraph 52, "Houshi at Ninna-ji Temple."

An old monk at Ninna-ji Temple wanted to visit Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine at least once in his life.

One day, he got the idea and went to visit the shrine alone on foot.
He thought that the Kora Shrine and Gokurakuji Temple at the foot of the shrine were Iwashimizu,
He visited only those temples and headed home while others were climbing the mountain.

After returning home, he said to a bystander,
I was able to fulfill what I had always wanted to do.
I felt more precious than I had heard.
All the other pilgrims had gone up the mountain,
I didn't go up to the top of the mountain to see them because I thought it was my duty to pay my respects.
He said, "I did not go up to the top of the mountain to see them,

He also said, "It is a great honor to be a pioneer in even the smallest things.
(He concluded, "It is a great thing to have a guide for even the smallest of things.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison gathered bamboo from all over the world to experiment with the practical use of the incandescent light bulb, and succeeded in lighting the lamp for 1,000 hours using bamboo from our company's premises, leading to its practical use.

There is a monument in the precincts of the shrine commemorating Edison's great achievement.


Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine
Official Site
30 Yawata Takabo, Yawata City, Kyoto Prefecture (on Mt. Otokoyama)
Telephone number
Hours of operation

South main gate opening hours
6:00 - 18:00 (January 20 - December 31)

*Vary during the year-end and New Year holidays.

Parking lot
All day (8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) 500 yen

To the Lower House
  Nearest station: “Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station” on Keihan Electric Railway Keihan Main Line (approx. 5 min. walk)

To the top of the mountain (Senjo)
  Since the shrine grounds are located on top of Otokoyama, visitors must take a cable car or walk up the mountain to visit the shrine from the foot of the mountain.

From Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station
   Cable car: Get off at Cable Hachimangu Shrine Sanjo Station, Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine approach cable (approx. 5 min. on foot)
On foot: Omotesando approach (approx. 20 min.) or Urasando (approx. 15 min.), etc.

There are several other routes to the top of Otokoyama.

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