A dignified and historical shrine cradled by the sacred Mt. Yahiko
Yahiko Shrine at the foot of the sacred 638m Mt. Yahiko is said to have been established with the enshrinement of the god Amanokaguyama-no-mikoto who taught fishing, rice cultivation, salt production and the other basics of farming to the area residents as well as contributed to the building of the nation. On its 113ha precincts, there are plenty of sights to see including the large and bright vermilion torii gate which soars 30m, Tama-no-Hashi Bridge which is known as “the sacred bridge of the gods”, and the two guardian lion-dogs (National Tangible Cultural Properties) created by the famed craftsman Hachiemon Sakai who was known as one of Edo’s 3 Great Stonemasons. Climbing up the sando path lined with cedar and Japanese zelkova trees over 400 years old and passing through the final gate of Zuishin-mon, you will come across the people amassing at the tall haiden Front Hall. With the mountains and the sky in the background, the magnificent scene of the hall is enough to cleanse your soul.
Popular power spots for worshipers within and outside Niigata Prefecture
Hi-no-Tama Ishi (Fireball Rock)
Locally, it is called “Omoi Karui no Ishi” (Heavy/Light Rock). It is said that when you lift the rock while making a wish, if the rock feels light then your wish will come true while if it feels heavy, then it will be difficult for your wish to be answered. It is an especially popular spot in Yahiko Shrine.
Just before climbing up to the haiden, there are the important power spots of Sessha and Massha to the left. Sessha is a shrine which enshrined the descendants of the god of Yahiko Shrine while Massha is a shrine which enshrined another god for which there are 8 small shrines lined up in all. For praying for good fortune, heading to Suguru Shrine would be good and Kusanagi Shrine is good when praying for that promotion at work.
Gojinbyo can be accessed by turning left at the haiden, boarding the Mt. Yahiko ropeway, getting off at the peak station and then walking for 10 minutes. The shrine at the top of Mt. Yahiko has jointly enshrined Amanokaguyama-no-mikoto and the goddess Umashihoyahime-no-mikoto so that it provides good luck in love and matchmaking.