Natural Treasure White Snakes of Iwakuni

Seeing an Iwakuni white snake is believed to bring you luck with money!

The Iwakuni white snake is a precious creature, highly rare in the world. It has been nationally-designated as a Natural Treasure. Locations where you can observe living Iwakuni white snakes include Iwakuni White Snake Museum ,Imazu White Snake Observation Facility. At each facility, in addition to observing living snakes, you can also purchase charms and goods featuring the motif of the creature, which has become known and loved as a “lucky snake”.
If you want to receive even more of the White Snake’s blessing, why not visit Shirohebi Shrine (White Snake Shrine), where the White Snake is venerated?

The white snake is 1.8 meters in length, and its girth exceeds 15 centimeters. It is a variety of the Japanese rat snake in which albinism has become genetically fixed. With ruby-like red eyes and a white shimmer along its entire body, the snake’s polished appearance is extremely mysterious. It has a tame and docile nature, and does not cause harm to humans. Although albinism is usually a genetic anomaly limited to a single generation, the Iwakuni white snake population has maintained its characteristics through heredity.
While the origin of the white snake is unclear, it is said that around four centuries ago, white snakes were found in many of Iwakuni’s rice storehouses, preying on mice.
In Iwakuni, since long ago, this rare snake has been preserved with great care as a household guardian deity, said to bring advantages and good fortune. Environmental changes such as the increasing urbanization of the white snake’s habitat in recent years, and changes in the fauna it preys on, including mice, have led to declining numbers of living white snakes in the wild. Both the public and private sectors of Iwakuni City are striving together to breed and preserve the white snake population.
Furthermore, the capture of wild living snakes is prohibited.



2-6-52 Yokoyama, Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Open Hours


Closed Day(s)

No Closures


Not required

Time Required

20 min



Access from Kintaikyo Bridge

10 min walk, located next to Ropeway Base Station


(Individuals) Adults: 200 yen, Children under 16: 100 yen
(Groups of 15+ people) Adults: 160 yen, Children under 16: 80 yen

Discount Tickets

20% off entry fee for holders of the Kintaikyo Bridge, Iwakuni Castle & Ropeway discount set ticket.

Website (Includes Japanese language-only sites)