Speaking of Hiroshima’s Itsukushima-jinja Shrine (Miyajima), there are many people who remember the red-painted Otorii floating in the sea. In 1996, it was registered as a World Heritage Site and is one of Japan’s leading tourist attractions. It is a mysterious island where the island itself has been the object of faith since ancient times.
Itsukushima Shrine and the surrounding area is one of the three most beautiful views in Japan. With a history of over 1400 years, the red-painted shrine is the Shinden-zukuri style (architectural style of court nobles’ houses in the Heian period). The fantastic torii that changes its appearance due to the tides attracts many people, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan.
The nearest stations are Japan Railway West Japan “Miyajimaguchi Station” and Hiroshima Electric Railway “Hiroden Miyajimaguchi”. Take the ferry from Miyajimaguchi Pier, which is just a short distance from the station, and you will arrive in Miyajima (Itsukushima) in about 10 minutes. The ferry between Miyajimaguchi Pier and Miyajima is operated by Japan Railway Miyajima Ferry and Miyajima Matsudai Kisen. In both cases, the fare (one way) is 180 yen for adults and 90 yen for children.
Miyajima, where Itsukushima Shrine is located, is the object of worship as the entire island of “God Island”. Itsukushima Shrine built on “God Island”. Why was it built on the sea?
Itsukushima Shrine is said to have been built in the second half of the 6th century. It is said that it was built by a powerful clan who ruled the Miyajima area at the time. Usually, most of the shrines are built on land. So why was Itsukushima Shrine built on the sea instead of the land?
Miyajima, where Itsukushima Shrine is located, has been worshiped by people as the entire island of “God Island”. People believed that God was inhabiting Miyajima’s trees and soil, so they thought they shouldn’t hurt Miyajima. Therefore, it is thought that the shrine and torii gates of Itsukushima Shrine were built on the sea, not on the land of Miyajima. This beautiful shrine was born because it was the island of God, Miyajima.
Itsukushima Shrine became the current figure after 1146. By the hands of Kiyomori Taira who was the authority of the time, the shrines and others were built in their present form.
“Otorii” is the symbol of Miyajima. It is about 16 meters tall and weighs about 60 tons, almost the same height as the Great Buddha in Nara Prefecture. The current torii is the 8th generation torii from the Heian period. Actually, this large torii gate and root are not buried in the seabed, but stand by the weight of the torii gate. You can feel the wisdom and ingenuity of the predecessors. At high tide, you can see a mysterious figure floating in the sea, and there is also a sightseeing boat that runs through the torii. On the other hand, at low tide, you can go to just below Otorii, and you can see something different. It is also recommended to check the times at high tide and low tide, and look at the expression of each Itsukushima Shrine.
Itsukushima-jinja Shrine in Miyajima island, Hiroshima prefecture is the Grand Head Shrine of the approximately 500 Itsukushima-jinja Shrines throughout Japan.
It was registered as the world heritage of UNESCO in 1996, and has become a popular famous place which a tourist visits from all over the world now. Itsukushima called “Miyajima island in Aki Province” is famous also as one of the three most famous views in Japan with Matsushima in Miyagi, and Amanohashidate in Kyoto. The beautiful scene could be said not only as Hiroshima but as the property which Japan is proud of.
Itsukushima-jinja Shrine was founded in 593 years which was the Empress Suiko era. It is said that it was founded by Saeki no Kuramoto who was leading powerful clan of this district. It has been proud of 1,400 years of history since its foundation. Seemingly, it has continued from the time when Prince Shotoku was alive.
At the time of Buddhism having been introduced into Japan, folk beliefs which were the origin of Ancient Shinto and Shinto were based on the concept of nature worship, and this had an animistic element that regarded every object as occupied by a spiritual entity such as a god (deity), a spirit, or a soul. As for here Miyajima (Itsukushima), the whole island was worshipped as an island of God, so from the reason that it was too awful to construct on the land of the island, the shrine seemed to be built in the place that the rise and fall of the tides.
The greatest feature of Itsukushima-jinja Shrine is ebb and flow which come every 6 hours every day, and is that the scene of the shrine changes entirely.
After all it is the tidal hour that can be realized the beauty of the main shrine as it was exposed to praise from the Heian era, but at the time of ebb tide, you can walk to near the root of great torii, and can see from a short distance.
Moreover, the lighting performed from 30 minutes later of the sunset to 23:00 through the year is also unmissable.
Unlike daytime, a solemn atmosphere of the shrine-pavilions group wrapped calm could just be called unparalleled view.
|Name:||Itsukushima-jinja Shrine (Miyajima)|
|Address:||Miyajimacho 1-1 Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0588 Japan|
|Access:||JR Sanyō Honsen Line Miyajimaguchi Station. About 10 minutes from Miyajimaguchi Port to Miyajima Island by ferry.|
|Price:||300 yen (Adult)|
200 yen (High school students)
100 yen (Elementary/junior high school students)
Please refer the official web page.