Yahiko-jinja Shrine 彌彦神社
Spectacular and sacred shrine with Shinto at its core
A sacred spot for centuries, Yahiko-jinja Shrine bears great legends of the Shinto religion. Even today, many festivals are held at the shrine and in the town of Yahiko in northern Niigata Prefecture. Less than three hours from Tokyo, experience deep Japan with a visit to this shrine, located at the foothills of Mt. Yahiko .
- The massive 30-meter high red torii gate leading to the entrance of the shrine
- Yahiko-jinja Shrine's fire, yukake, and chrysanthemum festivals
How to Get There
By train: From Tokyo, take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Tsubame-Sanjo Station; the journey takes just under two hours. Transfer to a local train on the Yahiko Line and get off at Yahiko Station. The shrine is about a 15-minute walk away.
By car: Take the Hokuriku Expressway and exit at Tsubame-Sanjo Interchange. The mountain is about 25 minutes away.
Yahiko-jinja Shrine's origins hark back to the 8th century when a great-grandson of a Shinto deity is believed to have landed on Mt. Yahiko and taught residents the skills required for agricultural activities.
While the stately shrine is an attraction in its own right, consider visiting during one of its many festivals. Flock with the crowds in November to the Chrysanthemum Festival to see a flower bed in which 30,000 chrysanthemums are transformed into a large-scale Japanese landscape. In keeping with the sacredness of the mountain, the Yukake Festival shows participants praying with tubs containing sacred spring water on their shoulders. Over 1,000 years old, the Yahiko Fire Festival highlights folk songs dancing, a lantern parade, and fireworks.
Of national and natural treasures
Not only is Yahiko-jinja Shrine itself a signature architectural symbol of Japan, but it is also home to the Shida-no-Otachi, the longest sword, and a nationally-designated Important Cultural Property. The 350-meter stretch of cedar trees running from north to south around the shrine has also been designated as a Natural Treasure by the prefecture.
If arriving by car, you won't miss the path to the entrance of the shrine as you drive along the main route in Niigata . Look for a massive 30-meter high red Shinto torii gate—it is your gateway to Niigata's legendary history.