Shiga Prefecture boasts a trove of cultural assets. So much so, in fact, that the region ranks third in Japan for the number of buildings designated as National Treasures or Important Cultural Assets. Here's an introduction to a shrine in the Kosei region.
Shirahige-jinja Shrine is the oldest shrine in Omi, said to have been founded around 2000 years ago. People come here to pray for long life, relationships, pregnancy, and good luck. The head of all Shirahige shrines across Japan, it is also known by the nicknames "Shirahige-san" and "Myojin-san." Creation of the buildings currently in the grounds was overseen by Hideyori Toyotomi during the Momoyama period (1573 - 1603), and the perfectly square main shrine is a designated Important Cultural Asset. The current complicated roof shape came about when the hall of worship was rebuilt during the Meiji period (1868-1912), in order to connect it to the main shrine.
The crimson torii gate that stands out in the waters of Lake Biwa is often called the "Itsukushima of Omi," evoking as it does the World Heritage site of Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima.