## Pay a visit to the god of war at Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine
With a rich, diverse history that goes back more than a thousand years, Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine is home to the main god of Nagahama City as well as a number of stunning seasonal events.
Pay your respects to Nagahama's top deity
Catch the famous hydrangea blooms in June
In April, the shrine hosts a large float festival
Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine is easily accessible by train.
Take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara (just over two hours from Tokyo or 20 minutes from Kyoto). Then take the Hokuriku Line to Nagahama (about 15 minutes). The shrine is about a 15-minute walk from JR Nagahama Station.
For more than a thousand years, Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine has been the home of Nagahama's main deity, Hachimangu, the Shinto god of war. The shrine, which is filled with famously stunning hydrangeas, houses important cultural properties.
It is worth a visit to see the temple, clap your hands, and ask the deity to grant a wish. But the temple is mostly known as the starting point for the annual Nagahama Hikiyama Festival in April (usually held around April 15).
Huge, finely crafted floats known as hikiyama are pulled through the town while local boys between the ages of five and 12 put on kabuki performances. This matsuri is one of Japan's biggest float festivals, and in 2016, it was added to UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.