The beautiful curved roofs of the Goju-no-to Pagoda and strinking vermilion colouring are a familiar sight on the island of Miyajima. Standing on a hill overlooking the bay and Itsukushima Shrine, the pagoda was built in 1407 and is a curious mix of Chinese and Japanese architectural styles. The curved roofs show the Chinese influences while the walls and door show distinct Japanese traditions. On oddity in its construction is that while most Japanese pagodas have a central pillar which extends the whole way from the base right through all the floors to the top of the structure, the central pillar in Goju-no-to stops at the second floor.
The 27 metre high pagoda houses a Buddhist statue but visitors cannot enter the Pagoda. However admiring the pagoda from the outside, you will be rewarded with stunning carvings and paintings.
The Five-Tiered Pagoda (Gojyu-no-tou ) is a sight that you will see from almost any spot in Miyajima, because it was built on top of a small hill, overlooking the rest of the village. Unfortunately this pagoda is off-limits for tourists, so we did also not go any closer and I was lucky to have my strong tele-lens with me, so I could take some photos of the beautiful ornaments of the facade as well..
The five tiered pavilion is just uphill from Itsukushima shrine. You can't enter the pavilion, but it is pretty from the outside. Plus, the walk up the hill is uncrowded and interesting. Plus plus, from the hill top you have a great view at the village below (see the second photo), the shrine, and island off toward the beach.
There is a beautiful Gojyu-no-tou (5 level tower) near the Itsukushima shrine.
The view of island and mainland is breath-taking especially in spring with cherry blossoms and in fall with leaves in different colors.
You'll also find small shrines and temples in the area.
Set in a peaceful spot up out of the way from the hords of tourists is this stunning structure, very old and entirely made from wood. It's something to really contemplate on and in true Shinto fashion it seems that the deer are more than aware of this.