NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


沙沙貴神社 Sasaki-jinja Sasaki Shrine

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Sasaki Shrine in Azuchi Town, Shiga Prefecture, was founded to enshrine the family god of Sasaki Yamakimi, a local ruler of this area during the Kofun period (3rd century-6th century). After the middle of the Heian period (794-1192), the shrine was faithfully protected by the Sasaki clan, who were descended from Emperor Uda by his grandson Minamoto no Masanobu. Minamoto no Nariyori, great-grandson of Masanobu, is the first who took the name of Sasaki from his domain where this shrine is located.

The Romon gate is a beautiful two-story gate with thatched roof. The woodwork under the eaves is especially beautiful. It follows the architectural style of the Heian to Kamakura periods, but was reconstructed in 1747 in the middle of the Edo period.

Honden (the main hall) is a 5-bay flowing style building with copper roof. It was constructed in 1848 together with Haiden (the oratory), which is a large and spacious building. The 8 large-sized wooden buildings including Honden, Haiden and Gonden were prefecturally designated as cultural properties in 1990.

In May, visitors can enjoy viewing white and cute blossoms of Chinese Fringetrees and Arisaema urashima, a subspecies of Japanese cobra lily with the tip of the spadix ending in a long whip. Its Japanese name “Urashima-so” alludes to a folktale about a fisherman named Urashima Taro; the very long whip on its spadix is thought to resemble a fishing line.

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1 Jorakuji, Azuchi-cho, Gamo-gun, Shiga Prefecture 521-1351
Sasaki Shrine

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