A quiet old shrine where splendid ancient trees thrive
Hie Shrine was built in the year 807. It is said that when Kobo Daishi established Shuzen-ji Temple, a village shrine was built in the location northeast of the temple as protection since the direction was considered unlucky. Afterwards, with the issuing of the edict separating Shinto and Buddhism at the beginning of the Meiji Era, this shrine was made independent and was re-named to its current name of Hie Shrine. Once you go beyond the torii gate at the entrance, you will pass wonderful ancient and mighty trees of yew plum, zelkova and cedar. Although the number of visitors to Hie are fewer when compared to neighboring Shuzen-ji, Hie Shrine is imbued with a quiet and dignified atmosphere. Plus the area has also become infamous as the place where Noriyori Minamoto had committed suicide after being suspected of sedition by his brother Yoritomo. At the roots of the huge zelkova trees, the remains of Shinko-in where Noriyori was imprisoned, exist.
The must-see giant cedar trees which bring luck to the children!
To the right of the shrine which is just in front of the 20 or so steps, giant Japanese yew soar 25m into the sky with a root circumference of 5.5m and a trunk circumference of 4.5m. Japanese yew normally prefer temperate regions so most of the giant trees have been located in Oita and Kumamoto Prefectures. Seeing such trees in Izu is quite unusual and as such, they have been prefecturally designated as natural monuments. They are estimated to be over 300 years old. On the left of the shrine, there are several giant cedar trees. Among them, one that draws attention is the cedar which has two trunks growing from the same root system. Known as the Kodakara-no-Sugi (Cedar of the Children), once you go up the stairs between the trunks, you can receive blessings for your children when you make a wish.