Chikubu Island, also known as the “Island of the Gods,” is a sacred and secluded island located off the northern shore of Lake Biwa in Nagahama City. With its rich history and spiritual significance, Chikubu Island attracts visitors from all over japan and beyond.
The island is home to several religious sites, including the Hogonji Buddhist temple and the Tsukubusuma-jinja Shrine. These two sites reflect the confluence of Buddhism and Shintoism, two major religions in Japan. Hogonji temple dates back to 724, while Tsukubusuma-jinja Shrine is a National Treasure dating back to 420.
As you climb the stairs to reach Hogonji temple, you’ll be surrounded by a serene and tranquil atmosphere. The temple is known for selling cute and small Daruma dolls dedicated to Benzaiten, the goddess of knowledge, art, and beauty. These Daruma dolls are believed to bring luck and prosperity for an entire year. Visitors can write their wishes on a slip of paper and purchase a red Daruma doll that will pray for their wishes to come true.
At Tsukubusuma-jinja Shrine, visitors can participate in a unique tradition. They can throw small clay discs called “kawarake” through the Miyazaki Torii, a shrine gate that is considered hard to reach. It is believed that successfully throwing a kawarake through the Torii will bring good luck and make your wishes come true.
Chikubu Island is not only a place of spiritual significance but also a place of natural beauty. The island is surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. The lush greenery and serene atmosphere make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.
To reach Chikubu Island, visitors can take a ferry from three ports on Lake Biwa: Nagahama, Hikone, or Imazu Ports. However, the most convenient access is from Nagahama Port. From Nagahama, visitors can catch a boat that takes approximately 25-40 minutes to reach the island. To get to Nagahama, one can take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara, which is two hours from Tokyo or 20 minutes from Kyoto. From Maibara, visitors can change to the Hokuriku Main Line and reach Nagahama in just 10 minutes.
Chikubu Island offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors. Whether you are interested in exploring the island’s religious sites, immersing yourself in nature, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Chikubu Island has something to offer. The island’s rich history, spiritual significance, and natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Nagahama City or the wider Shiga Prefecture.
In conclusion, Chikubu Island, also known as the “Island of the Gods,” is a sacred and secluded island located off the northern shore of Lake Biwa in Nagahama City. With its rich history, spiritual significance, and natural beauty, the island attracts visitors from all over Japan and beyond. The Hogonji temple and Tsukubusuma-jinja Shrine reflect the confluence of Buddhism and Shintoism, two major religions in Japan, and offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the island’s spiritual energy. Whether you are interested in exploring the island’s religious sites, enjoying the pristine nature, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Chikubu Island is a destination that should not be missed. Plan your visit to Chikubu Island and experience the tranquility, beauty, and spiritual energy that the island has to offer.
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