Hie-jinja Shrine, located on a hilltop between the Akasaka office district and the government buildings of Nagatacho, is one of Tokyo’s major shrines. It is particularly notable for its connection to the Tokugawa clan and its beautiful Sanno Matsuri festival. The shrine is rich with history and houses some of japan‘s most treasured relics.
The origins of Hie-jinja Shrine date back to the Kamakura period, but most accounts say that it was founded by the warlord Ota Dokan in 1478. However, it wasn’t until shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu began ruling Japan from Edo Castle that the shrine gained prominence. As a patron of Hie-jinja Shrine, Tokugawa Ieyasu helped establish its significance and importance in the region.
In 1607, the shrine was moved outside of Edo Castle, allowing the citizens of Edo to visit and worship there. This move was significant as it symbolized the accessibility and inclusivity of the shrine. It became a place where people from all walks of life could come together to worship and seek blessings. This tradition continues to this day, as Hie-jinja Shrine is open to visitors from all over the world.
During the Meiji Restoration and thereafter, Hie-jinja Shrine served as a guardian shrine of the Imperial Palace. Its close proximity to the palace made it an important spiritual center for the imperial family and the people of Japan. The shrine played a crucial role in the religious and cultural practices of the time.
One of the highlights of Hie-jinja Shrine is its collection of precious treasures. Among these treasures is the Itomaki-no-Tachi, a long sword with detailed lacing on the handle, crafted by Ichimonji Norimune. This sword is a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship of the time and is considered a national treasure. Another notable sword in the shrine’s collection belonged to Emperor Meiji and was made by Bizen Osafune Nagamitsu. These swords are not only works of art but also hold great historical and cultural significance.
One of the most significant events at Hie-jinja Shrine is the Sanno Matsuri festival, which takes place in mid-June. This festival is one of the three major festivals of the Edo period and is the only one that makes its way around the Imperial Palace. The Sanno Matsuri is a grand procession that includes traditional music, dances, and performances. It is a celebration of the shrine’s connection to the Tokugawa clan and its role in the cultural heritage of Japan.
Visiting Hie-jinja Shrine is a memorable experience. The shrine’s location on a hilltop provides a serene and peaceful atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. As you enter the shrine, you are greeted by a vivid tunnel of red torii gates, which creates a stunning visual effect. Walking through these gates is a symbolic act of purification and preparation for entering the sacred space of the shrine.
To get to Hie-jinja Shrine, you can easily take the subway or a taxi. The shrine is located in the city center and is accessible from a number of stations. It is a three-minute walk from Tameike-Sanno Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Ginza Line. The convenient location makes it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
In conclusion, Hie-jinja Shrine is a historical and cultural treasure in the heart of Tokyo. Its connection to the Tokugawa clan, its rich history, and its beautiful Sanno Matsuri festival make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. Whether you are seeking spiritual solace or simply want to immerse yourself in the beauty of Japanese traditions, Hie-jinja Shrine offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
Address And Maps Location:
2-10-5 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to