Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima, JapanGetting there
10 minutes by ferry from Miyajimaguchi station of JR or Miyajimaguchi station of Hiroshima Electric Railway
From Heiwa Koen Motoyasusanbashi, you can get to Miyajimasanbashi by high speed boat in 50 minutes
About 15 minutes by walk from Miyajimabashi to Itsukushima ShrineTelephone
+81-829-44-0517More information Prices
Admission to shrine precincts: 300 yenOpening hours
The shrines and pagodas in Japan have a distinctive feature that can be similar with somewhere else, and that makes Japan become a great attraction for tourists. And when it comes to famous shrines in Japan, people can not ignore an extremely popular location is Tsukushima Shrine.
Located on the island of Miyajima, Hiroshima, Itsukushima Shrine is also known as Itsukushima Shinto. It is important works of the region of Japanese tourism. The scene of Itsukushima Shrine hidden in the sea water with the view of Misen mountain in front makes it one of the three most beautiful sceneries of Japan.
The splendid shrine as you see now was built from the ancient time back to the 12th century by Taira no Kiyomori - a powerful person in the local region at that time. As the tide is at high, the entire campus of the shrine emerge out on the sea with an imposing look but not less stunning.
Itsukushima Shrine was built to honor three virgin women, the daughter of the sea god and thunderstorms god Susano-o no Mikoto. To preserve the sanctity that any feet of ordinary people can offend, the shrine (and the gate) was built on the water. In the past, Miyajima people want to come to this holy shrine, they have to anchor their boats outside the shrine's gate.
Women here are not allowed to stay on the island when they are going to give a birth. The elderly, the sick are also not allowed to stay. There is no birth and no death here. Inside this holy shrine, there are many remaining works of art, and things regarding as national treasures of " The Land of the Rising Sun".
Getting through thousands of years (the first shrine in this complex was built back to the 6th century), Itsukushima Shrine was destroyed by nature many times, in which the latest time is the tsunami in 2004. As a result, many roofs are still in the repairment period. Nowadays, Itsukushima Shrine is opened to the public, with the price of 500 yen ( approximately 5 USD) and it is usually the first stop for tourists when coming to Miyajima.
Renowned for its glorious architecture and the basic framework is made in Shiden-zukuri style (architecture typically used for accommodation building of the nobility) in the Heian period (794-1185), with extremely innovative and risky layout when building the shrine on the sea.
The first shrine is believed to be built in the 6th century. The present shrine was built back to the mid-16th century and is said to be under an earlier design from the 12th century. This design was drawn in 1168 when the amount for construction is provided by the lords of Taira no Kiyomori. The shrine was designed and built on the pier-like structure on the bay so that it will be floated on the water, separated from the sacred islands, but can be approached by devotees.
What to see at Itsukushima Shrine
One of the most attractive points of the shrine is the O-torii gate which stands impressively on the sea, straight to the shrine and also the iconic image of the island of Miyajima. The gate is 16m high, 24m long of the roof with the main pillars made from 1m diameter dugout trees. The gate stands by itself without any buried columns. If you have an opportunity to come here, don't miss the opportunity to watch the sunrise at this stunning shrine gate.
Itsukushima Shrine is aimed to worship nature gods like god of the hills, it also follows the normal architecture of the shrine in the way god "Yohaijo" is put at the foot of the mountain. The beauty of the unique architecture combined with surrounding nature has created a picturesque work of art in Japan. Itsukushima Shrine is an important treasure of cultural spirit of Japanese.
At the time of high tide, tourists can see the red shrine with long corridors as if it is floating on the sea. This shrine was built on the idea of Taira no Kiyomori, proudly gifted with a rare beautiful scene in the magnificent backdrop of mountain ranges and the sea of Setouchi.
Noh stage dating since 1590 is located near the main shrine. Noh stage has long been used to pay homage to the gods through the rituals which took place important events in the legend of Shinto.
Taking a ferry from Miyajimaguchi to Miyajima, you will set foot on the famous mountain considered the symbol of the island of Miyajima. There is a walking path leading to Itsukushima-jinja Shrine, many shops selling local products on two sides of the path so you can freely explore. The specialties here are Momiji-manju dumpling and Shamoji.
Best time to visit Itsukushima Shrine
If you are lucky to come to this shrine at the end of the year or early in the new year, you will get the full sense of glamor that enchants you at the first sight.
The best time to see Miyajima is in the early morning when most of the tourists are not wake up in the ryokan (traditional style hostel).
At that time, in the tranquility of the atmosphere, Miyajima shows its majesty and humility, solemnity and splendor. The highlight here is the famous Itsukushima Shrine's gate which majestically sited on the beach, painted with splendid red, the traditional color of the Japanese shrine gates.
People said that on days at high tides, it can also flood up near the roof of the shrine gate, creating a unique beautiful scene, listed in one of the 3 most scenic places in Japan.
How to get to Itsukushima Shrine
From Miyajimaguchi station of JR or Miyajimaguchi station of Hiroshima Electric Railway, it takes about 10 minutes by ferry to get to Miyajimabashi.
From Heiwa Koen Motoyasusanbashi located in the center of a city of Hiroshima, you can get to Miyajimasanbashi by high-speed boat in 50 minutes.
From Miyajimabashi, it takes about 15 minutes by walk to Itsukushima Shrine. Most notably, the shrine only opens until 17:00 in winter.