Hoshiimo Shrine / Horide Shrine
Horide Shrine and Hoshiimo Shrine are on a hill with a beautiful view of Ajigaura Beach. The name Horide comes from "horidasu," or the Japanese verb for "to dig out." In 1663, locals unearthed armor, spears, and katana swords in the surrounding area and built a small shrine to enshrine these items. Several years later, an ancient mirror was dedicated to the shrine by Tokugawa Mitsukuni, a historical figure who governed over the local Mito Domain (a domain encompassing modern-day central and northern Ibaraki). It soon became the shrine's object of worship. The shrine is called "Horide" because both the first items found here and the mirror were dug up. Hachiman, the deity of academics and warding against evil spirits, is worshipped here.
In 2019, Hoshiimo Shrine was newly built on the grounds of Horide Shrine. Ibaraki Prefecture ranks the highest in production volume for hoshi-imo (dried sweet potatoes) in Japan. Moreover, Hitachinaka, where the shrine is located, is the most prosperous production area. Hoshiimo Shrine also gets its name from the phrase "hoshii mono" or "something you desire" in Japanese due to its similar pronunciation. It's said that the shrine will bless you to "obtain everything you desire."
Hoshiimo Shrine features beautiful golden torii gates lined up in two rows, making it a popular photogenic spot. The person who designed these torii gates was none other than Taku Saito, a designer involved in product design for some of Japan's most famous brands. Several other highlights of the shrine include the golden motorcycle, two sacred yin-yang trees representing a male and female couple, and a hoshi-imo vending machine. You can also drink SAZA COFFEE, a local coffee brand, at a small cafe on the shrine grounds.
- Ibaraki, Hitachinaka, Ajigauracho 172-2
- Public Transportation: 2 minutes on foot from Ajigaura Station
Car: 5 minutes from the Hitachi Seaside Park IC via the Hitachinaka Toll Road
- Standard-sized cars: 40
Large buses: Not allowed
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