Said to have been founded in 1180 during Minamoto Yoritomo’s rule with the setting up of a bunshi (branch shrine) of the Izumishima-Myōjin (伊豆三島明神). It enjoyed the support of successive military rulers and in 1591 Tokugawa Ieyasu formally recognized its ownership of land worth 100 koku. From July 1, 1600 the Tokugawa's apparently became regular visitors to the shrine.
Moving into the Meiji Period, it was given village shrine ranking in 1873. In 1878 a Tōshō-gū (a generic name for jinja enshrining Tokugawa Ieyasu) attached to the Nichirinsan-entsūji temple (日輪山円通寺) in Kamakura was moved to the shrine. In 1907 it was given Shinsen-heihakuryō-kyōshin-jinja status. This was followed in 1909 by the absorption of eight other shrines in the village—Kumano Jinja, Inari Jinja, Daijingū, Nikkō-sha, Suwa Jinja, Sannō-sha, Sengen-sha, and Hakusan-sha.
It is said that the in-ground Biwajima Jinja was founded by Hōjō Masako, using the kanjō process to enshrine the deity Benzaiten of Chikubushima (竹生島) in Lake Biwa. The deity of this shrine is Ichikishima-hime (市杵嶋姫), another name for Benzai-ten. It is one of the stops on the Yokohama Kanazawa Shichifukujin circuit.
Ōyamazumi-mikoto (22) 大山祇命
From Merged Shrines
Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康
Tateminakata-no-mikoto (111) 建御名方命
Annual Festival: May 15
About five minutes' walk from Kanazawa-hakkei Station. It is less than 500 metres as the crow flies from an inlet to the Pacific, although with a hill and an expressway in between it is difficult to feel the proximity to the ocean. Before the area was built up it was famous for its views, indeed the "hakkei" in Kanazawa-hakkei means "Eight Views" (八景). The rear of the shrine abuts on to the above-mentioned hill and with several small shrines scattered, seemingly haphazardly, between the main shrine building and the hill it is easy to forget the bustling metropolis surrounding the shrine. There is a small Inari jinja built into what is probably an artificial cave in the hill.