A beautiful shrine...
If you go behind Dogo Onsen, you’ll find a large gate with a road that leads steeply up a hill. At the top of the hill is a steep flight of 135 steps of rough stone that leads to the gateway of Isaniwa Shrine. The main building’s valuable design has been included for having one of Japan’s three biggest double-gable roofs and has been nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property.
The Shrine itself sits above Dogo offering a fine view over Matsuyama. Great for your Instagram needs.
Isaniwa Shrine is a ‘working shrine’. Which means that anytime you may visit the shrine, you’re likely to encounter some sort of ceremony going on, whether it’s a Shinto wedding or a blessing for a newborn child. Casual visitors of course are always welcome and encouraged to see how a working Japanese shine works.
You can enter the shrine and walk around the grounds. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to see a wedding ceremony while you are visiting. Although the weddings are of a private nature, it is still ok to watch them from a distance. But please be respectful when view someone else special moment. If you have never seen a traditional Japanese wedding then you are in for a unique experience. Even though there’s nothing to stop you from mingling with the other guests of the two families. I would recommend you to be respectful.
The shrine is said to have been founded on the site where Emperor Chuai and Empress Jingu bathed at Dogo Onsen. Modeled on Iwashimizu Hachimangu in Kyoto Prefecture, the current buildings were constructed in 1667. The shrine is beautiful well kept. The colors make it really stand out among other shrines.
From the back of the shrine to the left is a flight of steps that leads back down into Dogo via the Hogonji temple and Neon Zaka, the old prostitution district lined with buildings that may once have been houses of discreet activities.
Isaniwa shrine can be accessed from the Dogo Onsen tram stop in a short bus ride (5 minutes, 160 yen, frequent departures) or in a 15-20 minute walk. Dogo Onsen is the terminus of three tram lines.
From JR Matsuyama Station, take tram line 5 ( 15 - 20 minutes, 160 yen).
From Matsuyama-shi Station, take tram line 3 (15 minutes, 160 yen).How to get to and around Matsuyama
Isaniwa Shrine Grounds
HOURS 6am to 8pm
CLOSED No closing days