HIROTA SHINTO SHRINE (HIROTA JINJA)
Enshrined:Aramitama of Amaterasu Omikami
Japan's oldest national historical document "Nihonshoki" states that tha Hirota Shrine was establishmented in the Hirota region in Muko country when Empress Jinguu came back from Korea in 201AD. Sonce then, many historical documents have mentioned the Hirota Shrine, saying that the great deity of Hirota protects its country, controls nature,and provides prosperity.
This legend has become very well known. The name Nishinomiya appeared in our history as the shrine grew. In diaries of administrators and officers who governed shrines, "pilgrims to the West Shrine" is found,rather than "pilgrims to Hirota." Nisinomiya literally means West Shrine. This is the very first description of Nishinomiya and the shrine of Hirota was its crowning glory. Thus the city received its name.
In the end of the eleventh century, when Emperor Shirakawa was on the throne, the shrine was elected as one of the twenty-two honorable shrines in the nation and called Hirota Grand Shrine by The Gorerrment. In 1871 when shrine classification was restored, it became the most honored and only grand shrine in the prefecture of Hyogo.
Amaterasu Omikami, who is worshipped here, is the most divine deity among deities and provides us with her divine biessings; food, clothing, and shelter and, like the sun, brightens everyone without exception. Thus all the natural phenomena have been her divine province. Her divinity has been shown in many old records.
Hirota Shrine is also famous for a natural treasure "kobanomitsuba Tutuji" (three small leaf azaleas). Twenty thousand of them gloriously bloom in the beginning of April to the enormous delight of visitors.