Chikubu-shima, The island where deities are living

Chikubu-shima is regarded as one of the three divine islands in Japan where a Buddhist goddess ‘benzaiten’ lives. Unlike two other islands, Chikubu-shima is a lake island.  The lake is named Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan.  Lake Biwa is located in Shiga prefecture next to Kyoto.  Although this island is not as famous as two other islands. (Eno-shima is a very popular tourist spot in Tokyo area.  Miya-jima is a world heritage site.), personally I felt the most divinity here.

This island has both a temple and shrine.  You can see a typical sample of the harmony of Buddhism and Shinto.  A temple is named ‘Hoganji’.  It was established in the 8th century.  Here a Buddhist goddess that is believed to bring you fortune is worshipped.

A very interesting thing here is a corridor which connects between Hogonji temple and Tukubushima shrine.  This corridor was made of a ship relocated.  The ship was originally used by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a warlord who ruled Japan in the last 16th century.

ship corridor (with many stickers by visitors to mark their visit) 

In Tukubushima shrine, I tried ‘throwing in unglazed small tiles’.  It is believed that if you can make the tiles pass through Torii gate, your wish will be fulfilled.  Although it was difficult because of the strong wind, I made it!  I was really happy.

Thanks to the fact that it is less famous, this island still has a serene atmosphere and attracts earnest worshippers.  That’s why I might feel it more sacred.

★★ it is worth visiting, while you are staying in Kyoto


About Yuki

I am a new face of the professional tour guide
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