The historical tale of a huge religious city of the Middle Ages as told from its remnants
As you take a step into the grounds of Heisen-ji Temple Hakusan Shrine which are covered in fresh moss fed by a rich source of water and populated with cedar trees that soar into the sky, you will be able to get that sense of mystery only found in a sanctuary of a god. Heisen-ji Temple Hakusan Shrine was originally founded in 717 by the Buddhist monk Taicho as a religious base for the Echizen district where Mt. Haku is worshiped, and during the 16th century, it flourished as the nation’s largest religious city with 6000 monks and 8000 warrior monks. However, due to the Ikkoshu Uprising in 1574, the entire area ended up being burned down. At present, only a tenth of the city remains and within the serene grounds surrounded by nature, you can see the restored front shrine, the main building, the cornerstone of the former front shrine and other buildings as valuable cultural assets.
Numerous sites selected for their historical value and beauty
The sando path selected as one of the Top 100 in Japan
This is the road heading to the front shrine consisting of the old sando and the current one. The old cobblestone path was built about 1000 years ago. On either side of the path which has been called a boundary toward the holy land are the enshrined Ushiiwa (Ox Rock) and Umaiwa (Horse Rock). The sando continuing on beyond the lone torii gate is lined on either side by old cedar trees and there are some beautiful stone steps leading up to the front shrine.
The national historic sites at Heisen Temple Hakusan Shrine, the front shrine and the main building
The interior of the grounds are serene and covered in moss. The front shrine which was restored during the Edo Era is a structure built in the style of the Heian Era. A cornerstone from the former front shrine which was burned down also exists and is a valuable structure relating the appearance from those days. The three structures at the back of the main shrine were built to represent the three peaks of Mt. Haku. Each of the three gods representing those peaks is enshrined.
Genjo-in Garden, a Place of Scenic Beauty
A garden built in 1530 which is adjacent to the torii gate. The beautiful pond-centered dry landscape garden with arranged natural rocks is a famous garden which was nationally recognized as a Place of Scenic Beauty.
The Minamidani Excavation
An archeological dig began in 1989 which revealed cobblestones from the Middle Ages in the earth. At the Minamitani Excavation, you can view the largest display of cobblestones from that period in Japan.