Hie Sanno Shrine

Hie Sanno shrine has been considered the most important in Tokyo because it has maintained the status as guardian deity of Edo-castle and the current imperial residence.

The shrine was originally built on the ground of Edo-Castle in 1478 as a branch of the guardian shrine of sacred Mt Hiei in Kyoto, and moved to the present location on top of the hill of Nagatacho in 1659.

During Tokugawa period, the shrinefs Sanno Matsuri was the biggest festival in Edo. More than forty festival cars carrying big floats proceeded grandiosely throughout the old city of Edo. It was said that it took half a day for the procession to pass over.

Although smaller now, the festival is one of the largest in Tokyo.

The hill on which the shrine sits is situated next to
the national diet across a shallow valley.
You can walk up the stone steps from Akasaka to the hilltop.
The letters on the board hanging on the gate says
gThe guardian deity of the Imperial Palaceh

The shrine has two sacred palanquins dedicated to the gods.

The left is Miya-mikoshi, main portable shrine.
The float of a cock leads the festival procession.

The shrine engages a couple of monkeys as errands.

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