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Visit to Chikubu Island in Lake Biwa.

Clear skies on April 7th. Today, we were invited to go to Chikubu Island, the most powerful spot in Shiga Prefecture, which is about a 30-minute boat ride through Lake Biwa in the spring haze.

It was a perfect day to see the cherry blossoms, so we left Kyoto and drove across Lake Biwa to Nagahama port so that we could admire the seven spectacular kilometers of fully laden cherry blossom trees along the lake.

Founded during the Kofun period, it is said that this shrine was dedicated to a god, and is until this day still surrounded by many mysteries and legends.

During the Nara period (7th century), Amaterasu *Omikami appeared to Emperor Shomu in a dream and as a result of that divine message, Benzaiten was enshrined there. From this day fourth the tradition of building temples and shrines to worship gods was born.

*Amaterasu Omikami:Goddess of the Sun in Japanese mythology, and it’s one of the most important gods in Japan.

*Benzaiten: Only goddess of the seven lucky gods, she has talent and fortune, and her appearance resembles a heavenly nymph holding a traditional instrument called biwa.

In other words, the island is a sacred place that has had mystical power for nearly 1800 years and has been protected by many pilgrims.

If you visit this sacred place enshrouded in a mystical and powerful energy fueled by strong Japanese faith, you can seek to cleanse your mind and purify your soul.

Shiozawa enjoyed some respite from the pressure of his latest project of designing a unique one of a kind ornamental scabbard.