More than 10 shintō shrines are located in this complex: here’s Taga-taisha, in Tagachō, Shiga Prefecture.
What’s special about Taga-taisha?
Taga-taisha is located in the eastern part of Shiga Prefecture, it is such an important shintō site that the locals usually call it “O-Taga san”, which means something like “Mr. Taga”.
Here, the ancient Japanese script Kojiki’s Izanami and Izanagi are worshipped. The shrine was built in 660 a.D., therefore it has a long history. We can found it also in the Kojiki itself:
“Izanagi Ōgami wa Ōmi no Taga ni zasunari.”
“The great god Izanagi sat in Ōmi’s Taga shrine.”
At the time of the Taga-taisha construction, Buddhism had already softly mixed with Shintō beliefs.
The complex holds more than 10 shrines; there’s also a beautiful garden, created according to Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s will, to give eternal life to his mother.
At its center the famous Taikaku-bashi stone bridge is located.
Many religious festivals are held at Taga-taisha throughout the year: the most famous one is the “Koreitai-sai”, on April 22nd. Since many characters on horseback join, this event is also called the “horse festival”.
Moreover, in the nights from August 3rd to 5th the “Mantō-sai” takes place, it is possible to see the beautiful floating lanterns.
How to get to Taga-taisha
Click here to see how to reach this unique shrine.
We visited Tagataisha in November, on a group tour. Many private houses are located in the nearby area, together with souvenir kiosks and different kind of shops.
Tagataisha special products the “Otagajakushi”, a kind of ladle used for washing hands or drinking water at the shintō shrines, and the Japanese sweet “Itokirimochi”. This one is so called because it is cut (kiri) with a bow string (ito), instead of a knife.
After going through Tagataisha’s stone torii we could see Taikaku bridge’s arched shape; to keep people away from injuries, a part of the bridge’s floor is made of wood. we could visit many shrines, like Hinata, Tenma e Atago.
The main hall, a wooden building, is symmetric and therefore splendid. We recommend this place especially to the ones interested in Shintō shrines.
Hikone Castle and Kōga no sato Ninja Village are also interesting places, both close to Tagataisha.