Oct 2023 03
Ohora Benzaiten

Ohora Benzaiten | Cut out a beautiful world like a painting. Hikone's sunlight in rich colors.

大洞弁財天 | 一幅の絵のような美しい世界を切り取る。極彩色に彩られた彦根の日光

Northeast of Hikone Castle, the direction of the so-called Omotekimon. A temple of the Ohora sect of Shingon Buddhism located halfway up Mt. Ohora. Its official name is Choju-in, but it has been popularly known as Ohora Benzaiten because it enshrines a seated statue of Benzaiten, which is said to be one of Japan's three major Benzaiten.


If you look back after climbing the steep stone steps, you will see Hikone Castle floating in the scenery cut out by the main gate. It is like a painting, a beautiful world that has been loved by the people of Omi since ancient times.


It is said that Naoki Ii, the 4th lord of the domain, built the castle to ward off evil and protect the castle. In 1688, Naooki, who was appointed as Nikko Toshogu Shrine Renovation General Magistrate, is said to have built it out of a desire to show the people of his domain the artistic architecture of this Kora carpenter.


Benzaiten-do hall in Gongen-zukuri style. It retains the characteristics of the architecture of the Genroku period, with carvings and rich colors in various places.


In the transom carving, you can also see the statue of catfish, which is said to be a messenger of Benzaiten.


Located next to Benzaiten-do Hall, Amida-do Hall is characterized by its interior being more solemn than its exterior. You can see sculptures of sleeping cats and elephants in the richly colored ranma.


Ohora Benzaiten, which retains traces of lacquer and coloring, and has wonderful carvings inside and out, is also called Hikone Nikko.


Proceed further back and climb the stone steps to reach Okunoin. Ugajin is enshrined, and it is said that it was erected as a token of gratitude for preventing the fire from spreading to the Hikone Castle tower.


In the Edo period, Matsubara Lake approached the foot of the mountain, and it is said that the feudal lord used to visit by boat. It is said that if you visit here, you will have the merit of having visited 381 temples. At the time of its construction, everyone in the domain was called on to donate a single mon, and a list of 259,526 people who donated at that time still exists. It may have been Naoki's wish to have Benzaiten's blessings on all of the people of the fief.


about this venue

Ohora Benzaiten

Location: 1139 Furusawa-cho, Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture
Phone number: 0749-22-2617