Main Gate of the Shirohige Shrine
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
Main Gate of the Shirohige Shrine on the waters of Lake Biwa, Takashima Japan -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Gate of the Shirohige Shrine
on the waters of Lake Biwa, Takashima Japan

On my way up to the ski area for Anthony's first ski experience, I stopped by the Shirohige Shrine on the shores of Lake Biwa (Japan's largest lake, about a third larger than Lake Tahoe). It was somewhat dark with a cloud mostly in front of the sun, with nice streamers of light emanating from the edge of the cloud, but overexposing the frame gives this interesting result.

I have no idea why the shrine is named Shirohige, which means “white beard”. (UPDATE: it's apparently related to how a white beard indicates longevity, and perhaps wiseness)

Okay, I looked it up... the name is meant to imply longevity, at least according to its Wikipedia entry, which also notes that it's the oldest shrine in Shiga (one of the prefectures that neighbors Kyoto). It's the head of the 292 shirohige shrines in Japan.

I'd not heard of this shrine, except that we passed it last year on the way to an out-of-the-way cafe with tasty pizza. Remembering it when I took the same route this last Sunday, I stopped by for some pictures.

I know of one other shrine gate in the water, the much larger, much more famous gate of the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima, not far from Hiroshima.

All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

long time reader, 1st post here. Incredible picture! Would have loved to see this at time of exposure. It has a very surreal look to it. keep your pictures coming! My main interests in life are Japan and photography and I must say your blog is right up my alley! lol

— comment by Phon on February 12th, 2009 at 2:48pm JST (15 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

This helped for my 6th grade report on Heian Jidai. Since Kyoto is where Heian-kyo is.

— comment by Tadashi on February 16th, 2009 at 12:18pm JST (15 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

There’s a torii on Lake Ashi, Hakone — it’s quite close to shore.
Here’s a picture (not mine).

— comment by Peter on February 28th, 2009 at 3:39pm JST (15 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...

All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

IMPORTANT:I'm mostly retired, so I don't check comments often anymore, sorry.

You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting