Matsuo Taisha Shrine (松尾大社)

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Nestled in the scenic beauty of Mt. Matsuo, Matsuo Taisha Shrine is a historic gem with roots dating back to prehistoric times. Established in 701 by the Hata clan from ancient Korea, the shrine served as a sacred site. Emperor Kanmu later designated it for protecting the imperial residence in the Heian period. The shrine’s main building, an important cultural property, was rebuilt in 1397. Explore the secluded grounds and don’t miss the free sake museum, unraveling the fascinating connection between Matsuo Taisha and the art of sake-making.

Matsuo Taisha Shrine (or Matsunoo Taisha Shrine) is named after a local deity that was enshrined on a rock formation near the summit of Mt. Matsuo since prehistoric times. Later, the Hata clan came from Silla (ancient Korea) in the 5th century. And the Hata clan seems to have settled in this area.

In 701, they built a shrine at the present location. Since then, the descendants of the Hata clan continued to serve as priests until the beginning of the Meiji period (1868-1912). In the Heian period (794-1185), Emperor Kanmu designated this shrine and Kamo Jinja (the predecessor of Kamigamo Jinja Shrine and Shimogamo Jinja Shrine) as shrines for the protection of the imperial residence.

Matsuo Taisha Shrine
Matsuo Taisha Shrine

The main building of Matsuo Taisha Shrine was rebuilt in 1397 during the Muromachi period. It is now an important cultural property. However, a wall surrounds the main building, you cannot see its entirety.

Matsuo-taisha Main Shrine
Main building

Shrine’s official WEB site

This Shrine has a sake museum. Entrance is free. This shrine is also famous as the god of sake. The museum introduces the relationship between the shrine and sake, its history, and the culture and process of sake.

Matsuo Taisha Sake Museum
Sake Museum

Nearby spots from Matsuo Taisha Shrine

Tsukiyomi Jinja Shrine is one of the regent shrines of this shrine. It is famous as a god of safe childbirth.

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