Miyajima

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A UNESCO World heritage site best known for its bright orange “floating” torii gate, the Itsukushima Shrine is a one-of-a-kind Shinto shrine that can be found anywhere in the world. Originally built as early as the 6th century, this shrine has been destroyed and rebuilt several times thereafter. The view of the torii gate from the island is counted as one of the “Three views of Japan“, and the shrine is classified as a national treasure by the Japanese government.

Interestingly, in order to maintain the purity of the shrine, there have been no births or deaths in the vicinity of this shrine since 1878. Even pregnant women on the island are taken to Hiroshima for delivery of the child.

In order to get to Miyajima, you either have to take a ferry or a train. Ferry takes less time. The ferry leaves from Miyajimaguchi (click here for details on access and transport options).

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                               (ferry terminal in Hiroshima)

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                            (boarding the ferry to Miyajima)

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                           (the famous Miyajima torii gate)

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                                 (The torii gate seen from the ferry)

On reaching the island of Miyajima, one has to walk through a narrow street by the sea-side. This street is filled with shops selling interesting items and foods.

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              (A giant paddle on display in one of the shops)

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                   (Umbrella on sale with live demo of water falling)

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                                         (On way to the shrine)

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            (Hiroshima in the background, as seen from Miyajima)

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                                                      (inside the shrine)

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(presence of fresh water streams in an area surrounded by salt water sea is considered holy)

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                                 (a pagoda in the background)

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                                      (Miyajima shrine)

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                          (Torii gate as seem from the shrine)

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                              (a local post box)

Next to the Itsukushima shrine is a path which goes uphill. Climbing this path will lead you to steps which eventually go to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. The monk here is from Himachal Pradesh in India and speaks fluent Hindi and English. The monastery is very colorful and has amazing Tibetan artwork.

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                         (going to a Tibetan monastery up the hill)

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         (Buddha statue in a Tibetan monastery)

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                                       (beautiful Tibetan artwork)

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Items: A visit to Miyajima shrine (Itsukushima shrine), Japan. (official website)

Price: Ferry ride 170 yen or ₹ 280 (free if you have JR rail pass), JR Sanyo line  400 yen  or ₹ 660 (free if you have JR rail pass), shrine entry is 300 yen or ₹ 495

Location: Island of Miyajima, Japan.

Phone: +81 829-44-2020

Timings: Shrine open all days 6:30 am to 6 pm.

Type: Religious/Historical/Cultural

How to get there: Ferry 10 mins (operated by JR- Japan Railway) OR train 25 mins (JR Sanyo line) to Miyajimaguchi station

Language: Mostly Japanese speaking, monk at the Tibetan monastery speaks Hindi and English.

Also visit: Hiroshima.

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2 thoughts on “Miyajima

  1. I loved it here when I visited back in 2012. Unfortunately, the torii was undergoing reconstruction and completely covered in scaffolding so I’ll have to go back someday and see it in its full glory. Very interesting how no deaths or births have taken place on the island in so long.

    1. Yes, I was struck by that fact also. There is such a strong belief in spirituality and Shinto-ism there. But a truly spectacular shrine, the landscape and natural beauty is just phenomenal. I wish I can go there in Spring time to see the sakura.

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