Miyajima: Travel guide to Miyajima Japan including getting to Miyajima from Hiroshima and Miyajima temples including Itsukushima Shrine.
MIYAJIMA HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Island (official known as Itsukushima Island) floats like a diamond in the Inland Sea of Japan. From the misty beginnings
of Japanese history Miyajima has been classified as one of the most scenic
islands of Japan.
The first shrine was founded in 593 AD. The land was regarded as so sacred that the famous Itsukushima Shrine was built over the water to avoid offending the Gods. When people eventually inhabited the island they were forbidden to till the ground, give birth, die or be buried on the sacred ground. . Even today there are no hospitals or cemeteries on Miyajima Island.
Suggested Miyajima Walk
MIYAJIMA SHRINES AND TEMPLES
Itsukushima Shrine extends out over the water so that at high tide it seems
to be floating on the sea. It consists of the Main Shrine and many subsidiary
shrines and buildings all connected by wide corridors and galleries.
been designated as a National Treasure.
Otorii - Grand Gate
In the water near the
Itsukushima Shrine stands the world renowned Torii,
Otorii, one of the largest in
Japan. The view through the Torii framing Mount Misen in the background is
one of the most photographed scenes in Japan
Senjokaku Shrine - The Hall of a Thousand Tatami Mats
In 1587AD Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the warlord who unified Japan during this era, ordered the establishment of Senjokaku Shrine as a place where sutra-chanting would be held in honor of war casualties. While it is the biggest building in Miyajima, it has never been finished with its construction halting on Hideyoshi Toyotomi's death. Senjokaku is derived from its planned floor space, which is equal to the area of 857 tatami mats.
Gojunto is a vermilion red Five-Storied Pagoda built in 1407AD shows a splendid structural beauty which skilfully combines the beauty of Japanese and Chinese architectural styles. Gojunto is 27.6 metres high. Gojunto is located next to Senjokaku Shrine.
Located next to Itsukushima Shrine, Daiganji Temple is an ancient Shingon Buddhist temple with strong ties to Shinto shrines. It used to be in full charge of the repair and construction of temples and shrines including Itsukushima Shrine. Daiganji Temple is dedicated to Benzaiten, the goddess of eloquence, music, and wealth, and enshrines one of the three most famous Benzaiten statues in Japan in addition to many other valuable Buddhist statues.
Daishoin Temple is an ancient Shingon Buddhist temple built at the foot of the sacred Mt. Misen. During the time of fusion period of Shintoism and Buddhism, this distinguished temple governed all priests in Miyajima and was in charge of religious ceremonies of Itsukushima Shrine. Its green, plant-filled precincts command a fine view and are very photogenic with its many decorated Buddhist statues.
Built by the priest Shukan in 1523, Tahoto is a pagoda with a height of 15.6 meters. Although constructed mainly in Japanese style, parts of the structure have Indian and Chinese architectural features. It presents the unique combination of a square shape on the lower level and a round shape on the upper level.
Miyajima Island - Hiroshima Transport
Miyajima is an
island, so you'll have to take a ferry to get there. The main ferry
terminal on the mainland is Miyajimaguchi (宮島口), which you can reach
from JR Hiroshima station either by JR train (¥400, 25 minutes, or ¥570
for a combination ticket with the ferry) or by tram line #2 (¥270, 70
minutes from Hiroshima JR Station). The tram line also passes by the
Hiroshima Peace Park and
may thus be more convenient for visitors also touring Hiroshima.
Hiroshima is one of
closest and most convenient locations for accommodation close to
Photos provided by Hiroshima Prefecture.