Himurojinja Shrine
(courtesy of Himurojinja Shrine)


Kenpyōsai Festival of Himurojinja Shrine
(courtesy of Himurojinja Shrine)

Himurojinja Shrine

In ancient times, there used to be a place for sacred ceremonies directly under the control of the emperor, equipped with Hiike (pond which produces ice) and Himuro (storage for the ice produced) in Kasugano in the eastern suburb of Heijōkyō. On every Vernal Equinox Day, a ceremony called “Himurobiraki” is held which prays for a bumper crop for the year, and consists of taking the ice out of storage. That is the origin of this shrine. Opinions about the year and the location of the establishment of the shrine are divided, but it is said to have been transferred to the present location sometime during the Jōgan Era (859-877). Kenpyōsai Festival, a festival that originated from an ancient ceremony, is still being held, and moreover, other events in relation to ice are also being held.