Muko-jinja Shrine (向日神社)

Muko-jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Muko City, Kyoto Prefecture. It is also known as Muko Myojin. It is listed in the Engishiki Jinmyocho (register of Shrines and kami in the book of regulations of the Engi era) and was classified as a fusha shrine (prefectural shrine) under the old shrine ranking system.

History

It was originally the two separate shrines 'Muko-jinja' (Kaminosha) and Hono Ikazuchi-jinja' (Shimonosha) which stood on Mt. Muko on which the current shrine is situated. Both of these ancient shrines were listed in the Engishiki Jinmyocho, and Hono Ikazuchi-jinja Shrine is thought to have been the predecessor of 'Otokuninimasu Hono Ikazuchi-jinja Shrine' (Otokuni-jinja Shrine) (another possible predecessor is Suminomiya-jinja Shrine in Nagaokakyo City).

It is said that Muko-jinja Shrine originated when the deity Mitoshi no kami (Mukahi no kami) came to Mt. Muko and encouraged the rice crop. Legend also states that Hono Ikazuchi no kami became enshrined on this site when Hono Ikazuchi-jinja Shrine was relocated from Kashihara City in Yamato Province to Yamashiro Province by the Emperor Jinmu.

Tamayorihime no mikoto and the Emperor Jinmu were enshrined at the shrine when new buildings were constructed at Hono Ikazuchi-jinja Shrine in the year 718 but it fell into decline by the middle ages and merged with Muko-jinja Shrine in 1275; the name becoming written using alternative characters which remain in use today.

Precinct

The shrine is approached via a long stone paved path leading from the Kyoto/Osaka Prefectural Road 67 Nishikyo-Takatsuki route (Astro-dori). The path is an atmospheric gentle slope lined by cherry trees, azalea flowers and maple trees but attention must be paid as it is occasionally used by cars.

The Bugaku-den can soon be seen upon entering the precinct. The haiden (worship hall) and honden (main sanctuary) are situated further within the grounds.

The honden was constructed in 1418. It has been nationally designated an Important Cultural Property as a highly representative example of the Muromachi period nagare-zukuri style. In addition, the main sanctuary of Meiji-jingu Shrine is a 1.5 times larger reproduction of that of Muko-jinja Shrine.

Main festivals

Nento-sai
Sakuhei-sai

Sub-shrines within the precinct

The deity/sacred object is enclosed in brackets.

Katsuyama Inari-sha (Ukanomitama)
Tenman-gusha (SUGAWARA no Michizane and others)
Masui-jinja Shrine (the sacred object is a well enshrining the Aramitama no kami of Hono Ikazuchi no kami)
Five shrines
Kasuga-sha Shrine
Goryo-sha Shrine

Main treasures

Nihon Shoki Kamiyo no maki Volume 2 written in 904 by FUJIWARA no Kiyotsura.
Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property

Decorative tachi sword

Access

Nearest station

500 m northwest of Nishi Muko Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line

Kyoto Prefectural Road 67 Nishikyo-Takatsuki route