Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima
If you are in the Hiroshima city, you must visit Itsukushima-Jinjya in Miyajima.
It's the shrine (not a temple) with famous red torii (gate) in the water, but has lots more than just the torii.
Unfortunately, the building including the gate is not the original one. Since it was originally built in 593, it has been damaged by fires and tyhoons again and again.
However, you can still appreciate the spirit, the beauty, and the culture of this shrine.
Otorii is the name of the famous red gate of Itsukushima Shrine and it is one of the 3 most scenic spots in Japan. We had been there in winter, and the water was high, while in low tide you will be able to walk directely to that gate. In my opinion it looks better when surrounded by water and it is hard to believe how many people are going to Miyajima every day,so it will be hard to find the perfect place to take a photo of this gate.
The holy island of Miyajima has been worshipped as a god since more than 1400 years. In the year 593 the origins of Itsukushima Shrine was built and many other shrines and temples followed and nowadays Miyajima even became a UNESCO world cultural heritage site. The buildings of Itsukushima Shrine, that you see nowadys were constructed in 1168.
Various Temple-guards are placed around the Itsukushima Shrine, they were made of solid bronze and looking quite grim in order to prevent bad ghosts from getting into the holy shrine. Something else that is interesting to know about the architecture of temples in Asia is the fact that the tiles mostly will include a symbol for a fish on top of the house -see my last picture. Such a fish should prevent the building from burning down, because the fish is living in the water.
Marodoharaiden ("Purification Hall") is the largest building of the shrine and to a very large part of it there is access for the tourists and from there you may watch some ceremonies or take a look at the donations that were given to the temply by local companies.
You have to pay a small amount of money to enter the temple and they you simply follow the crowds.
The famous "floating" gate to the island of Miyajima is a must see for any visitor in Japan. The shrine dates back to the 6th century, and has been in its present form since 1168 when funds were provided by the warlord Taira no Kiyomori. The current gate dates back to 1875. The shrine's construction, consisting of pier-like structures built over the bay, is due to the holy status that the island once commanded. Commoners were historically not allowed to set foot on the island, and had to approach by boat, entering through the gate that appears to float.
Miyajima (literally "shrine island") has been celebrated as a sacred island and one of Japan's three most scenic views. It is famous for Itsukushima Shrine, which, together with its large wooden torii (gate), stands in the ocean during high tide.Deer move around the island freely, and so do monkeys on top of Misen, the island's highest mountain.
Itsukushima Shrine gave Miyajima its name ("shrine island"). The shrine, which is partially constructed over water and features the famous floating torii gate, was first constructed in the 6th century. It later became the shrine of the most powerful local clan.
One should try to go to the island at high-tide, when the famous Torii seems to float over the sea.
Walk out to the torii during low tide. I went once in the late afternoon and another time early next morning. For nicer pictures, go in the morning when the sun is shining on the torii gate, rather than from behind it. Didn't get a chance to take the gate at high tide.
Central to every visitors trip to the island of Miyajima, will be the Shrine of Itsukushima. This stunning Shinto Shrine is dedicated to the 3 daughters of Susano no Mikoto, the Shinto deity of Seas and Storms.
The beautifully preserved Shrine is suspended over the sea by wooden pillars reaching deep into the silt and sand soil. The water creeping ever closer and eventually surrounding the shrine is a special sight and one’s visit should coincide with approaching high tide if possible.
The first shrine on this site would have been built in the late 6th century, around the year 593, but over the centuries would have been rebuilt and expanded in varying styles. The present day shrine was built in the 16th century, but preserved the style of the earlier shrine built in the 12th century.
The shrine is still a working Shinto Shrine and you should show the utmost respect while visiting. If you are lucky you will hear the daily prayers and you will spot several Shinto nuns in their beautiful but simple white and orange kimono style gowns. There is an entry fee to enter the shrine... ¥300 or ¥500 with entry to Treasure Hall included.
One of Japan’s most popular attractions and one of the three Nihon Sankei or ‘Most Scenic Views’ of Japan, the great Otorii gate, is one of those ‘must see’ tourist sites when you travel in this part of Japan. The huge gate, standing at 16 metres high and weighing approx. 60 tons is made in traditional Japanese style and constructed of Japanese camphor trees. Originally constructed in 1168, the gate we see today dates from 1875.
The historic reason for the placing of the torii out in the middle of the bay, is due to the fact that originally, commoners and peasants could not set foot on the island and to even approach the island had to pass through the torii gate, which unlike most torii gates, is surrounded by water but like all other torii gates mark the passing into a sacred space or place.
At high tide, the gate appears to ‘float’ on water and this is when the torii is at its most photogenic, although at low tide it is possible to walk right up to and through the gate. Ideally it would be nice to see the gate at both low and high tide but you would obviously have to stay on the island all day to witness this or come back another day!
Walk east after arriving at the port until you reach the bay. The torii is located in the bay about 200 metres from the shrine.
The shinto shrine is the main reason people visit, and the torii in the water is one of the most famous images of Japan. It's interesting to view it with both the tide in and out, which means hanging around for a wee while.
Itsukushima shrine (UNESCO's cultural heritage site) is a most famous and large shrine in Japan. It is easy to walk through it and see main areas. But it is a shrine you need a little time to appreciate slowly. You need to wait for the high tide if you were interested in seeing the shrine completely surrounded by the sea water. If you want to see against the sunset, you have to be there when the sun is slowly setting. You can enjoy the shrine views from several angles - from the ferry, from the town side, from the interior of the shrine. I recommend you should be ready to sacrifice at least a half day to really appreciate a most important shrine in Japan.
The gate of Itsukushima Shrine is become one of the best view of Japan.
In summer, the seashore will be dried, so you can walk until the gate.
The shrine itself is beautiful.... especially in autumn with deers and colorful leaves.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Itsukushima is an unusual shrine built on the water. The current form is over 800 years old. The gate, which appears far from shore at high tide, indicates the former holy status of the entire island. The day we visited there was a wedding which was pretty cool.
The shrine at Itsukushima is said to have been founded in 593 by a member of the powerful Saeki Clan named Saeki Kuramoto. The main shrine building was constructed in approximately 1168. The shrine was damaged by fire in 1207 and 1223 and by a typhoon in 1325. After the rebuilding in 1325, the layout of the shrine is believed to have remained as it is today. Itsukushima Shrine was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December of 1996.
Both the shrine and its great torii gate are famous for being built over the water. When the tide is in, the temple and gate appear to be floating, and a walk around the temple feels as though you are on a boardwalk or boat docks.
Admission to the temple is 300 Yen per adult, and it is open from 6:30 am to 6 pm every day of the year.