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Itsukushima Torii (2/5)
Five storied pagoda (3/5)
View from Daisho-in Temple (4/5)
Itsukushima Shrine (5/5)

IN A FEW WORDS

The Shrine Island, home of Japan's most famous view

DESCRIPTION

Miyajima

Itsukushima, more popularly known as Miyajima, is a small island located in the Seto inland sea of Japan northwest of the bay of Hiroshima, best known for its famous shrine, listed as UNESCO world Heritage Site, and floating gate. Throughout the island deer and monkeys roam freely, living together in peace with the inhabitants.

Itsukushima Shrine

300¥ 6:30 - 18:00

It is believed that shrines were built in Itsukushima as early as in the 6th century, but were destroyed in several occasion by tides. The present Itsukushima shrine dates from the 16th century and it's thought to have been constructed following an earlier design from the 12th century. The shrine is formed by several pier-like structures painted in bright red and connected by a network of wooden corridors, which is supposed to look like a bird stretching its wings.

The Itsukushima Shrine's Torii (gate) is considered as one of the Nihon Sankei, or Japan's 3 most Famous Views, and it's one of the country's most photographed and celebrated sites. The Torii was originally built in 1168, but the current one is a reconstruction dating from 1875. It measures about 16 meters high and it's made of camphorwood. When the tide is high the Torii looks to be floating on the water and when the tide is low the Torii can be reached on foot from the shore, which is a common practice among visitors.

Mount Misen

Free

Mount Misen is the highest mountain in Miyajima. With a height of about 535 meters over the sea level, it offers impressive panoramic views of Japan's inland sea and even the coast of Hiroshima on a clear day. It has been considered sacred and object of worship since ancient times and houses several structures near the top dedicated to Kobo Daishi, a great Buddhist priest who is believed to be the first person to practice Buddhism in the area.

The peak of Mount Misen can be reached through three different hiking trails, the Momijidani Course, the Daishoin Course and the Omoto Course, each of which take around one and a half to two hours to complete. Additionally, a ropeway covering most part of the Momijidani Course is available, although walking is still required to reach the peak. Wild deer and monkeys roam freely in Mount Misen and can be found quite easily, especially in Momijidani Park, at the beginning of the Mimijidani Course, and near the ropeway stations.

Daisho-in Temple

8:00 - 17:00

The Daisho-in Temple is located at the foot of Mount Misen, marking the start of the Daishoin Climbing Course, and it's considered to be one of the most distinguished Temples of the Shingon Buddhism sect. It was founded in the year 806 by the famous Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi and had strong relations with the imperial family through its history, having hosted the Meiji Emperor in 1885 when he visited Itsukushima.

The Temple is formed by a complex of several constructions set on the slope of the mountain and connected by stairways made of stone, some of which are decorated with sutras. Some of the most interesting structures are the Imperial Gate, the Main Hall, which houses the Buddha image Namikiri-Fudo, the Manpuku Hall, an octagonal structure made entirely of wood, and the Maniden Hall, which offers nice views both of Mount Misen and the coast.

HOW TO GET THERE

Hiroshima Station

JR Sanyo Line
25 min. 400¥ Railpass

Miyajimaguchi

Walk
3 min.

Ferry Terminal

JR Miyajima Ferry
10 min. 170¥ Railpass

Miyajima



aroundMOVE AROUND

The base of Miyajima island can easily be explored on foot, taking around 10 minutes to reach Itsukushima Shrime from the Ferry Terminal and an additional 5 minutes to get to Daisho-in Temple.

The hiking trails to reach the peak of Moun Misen can be quite steep at parts and demand physical effort The lower ropeway station can be reached on a 10 minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine.

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