Heisenji Hakusan Shrine [平泉寺白山神社]

First Torii gate of Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
First Torii gate
Photo by Hakusan Heisenji

Approach to Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Approach to Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Photo by Fukui Prefectual Tourism Federation

Heisenji Hakusan Shrine ("Heisenji Hakusan Jinja" in Japanese) is a Shinto shrine located about 30 km east of Fukui city.
It is in the mountain in Katsuyama city.

Originally, a shrine was founded by high priest Taicho in 717.

He had performed the ascetic practices in Mount Hakusan.
Since that, Hakusan became one of the popular mountains to worship, along with Mount Fuji and Mount Tateyama.

Mount Hakusan

Mount Hakusan is located about 25 km northeast of this shrine.
This shrine was the entrance to the mountain in Echizen side.

Around 10th century, a Buddhist temple named "Heisenji" was attached to the shrine.
Therefore, many ascetic Buddhist monks came here as a base of the mountain worship.

In the 14th century, this temple began to participate in struggle for power of the government.
In the result, a fortress was built around the temple and 8,000 priests lived in this area as soldier with weapon.

But, in 1574, when civil war continued, this fortress was attacked by the enemies and was destroyed by fire.

After the beginning of Edo Government (1603-1868), this temple was rebuilt but the size became small.

In 1872, new modern Meiji Government abandoned the Buddist temple and changed to original Hakusan Shrine.

Mitarashi-ike pond of Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Mitarashi-ike pond
Photo by Hakusan Heisenji

Second Torii near Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Second Torii near Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Photo by Fukui Prefectual Tourism Federation

There is an approach to the main shrine from west to east.
The length is about 600 meters and the path is on gentle slope.

The section about 500 meters long is in the former Heisenji area.
The area is covered with forest.

On the way, there is a small pond Mitarashi-ike in the forest.

Haiden of Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Haiden of Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Photo by Hakusan Heisenji

Moss around Haiden
Moss around Haiden
Photo by Hakusan Heisenji

There is a small crossroads at the edge of Heisenji area.
It is called "Crossroads between God and Buddha".
From there, the area of Hakusan Shrine spread.

The precincts is covered with beautiful moss.
The scenery is very popular along with Saihoji (Koke-dera Temple) in Kyoto.

There is Worship Hall (Haiden) in the center of the precincts.
It was rebuilt in 1859.
16 Ema (votive horse tablet) from the 1590s to the 1620s are enshrined in the shrine.

Honsha of Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Honsha of Heisenji Hakusan Shrine
Photo by Hakusan Heisenji

Carving of dragon on Honsha
Carving of dragon on Honsha
Photo by Hakusan Heisenji

There is Main Shrine (Honsha) behind Haiden.
It was rebuilt in 1759.
The building has beautiful sculptural decorations on its exterior.
The door is opened once every 33 years and the next open is in 2025.

In addition, there is an information facility "Mahoroba" near the entrance of approach.

How to get here

By Echizen Railway for Katsuyama, 55 minutes from Fukui station to Katsuyama.
From Katsuyama station to the entrance of Heisenji, the distance is about 5.5 km.

Community bus is operated, and it takes about 16 minutes from the station.
But the bus starts only at around 8:30 and 12:20 in the daytime.
In addition, the return bus comes soon.
So you had better to use a taxi.

Hotels around Katsuyama city

Hotels around Katsuyama city

Other Tourist Attractions in Fukui Prefecture

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