Itsukushima Shrine

Goshuin for Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Jinja厳島神社
Hiroshima (広島)December 1, 2023

About Itsukushima Shrine

I think we’ve all seen it. The photo of the floating torii gate on the water. Images of a shrine surrounded by the sea. That’s Itsukushima Shrine.

Itsukushima Shrine is located on the island of Itsukushima, better known as Miyajima, located just off the coast of Hiroshima.

As lovers of Japanese history and literature are probably aware, it is also a major location in the Heike Monogatari. This is an old Japanese tale of the fall of the Taira. While he did not build the original shrine, the shrine is typically associated with Taira Kiyomori, the military leader who famously lead the Taira family during the height of its power. It was common for members of the aristocracy to build shrines and temples and Taira no Kiyomori, who worked his way up the aristocracy, was no different.

My Visit to Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine has been on my Japan bucket list for a while, but it’s really far. I finally got to visit because I was lucky enough to go on a monitor tour to test out a possible tour option by Oasa Bus. So I went for free and did a lot of cool Japanese-sword related things.

We went to Itsukushima on the second to last day of our week long journey. Our bus took us to the JR West Miyaguchi Ferry. It was a very chilly early December morning, but it was exciting to finally see the floating torii. The only downside was that we went in the late afternoon and the tide was out too far to see shrine appear to float.

We did a quick tour of the shrine before visitng a small museum with some nice sword in it before we split up to have free time on the island.

The grounds are huge. The shrine itself is huge. It’s made up of several shrines, a kabuchi stage, and other small buildings all connected by a boardwalk. You can easily spend an hour here if you slowly make your way through it, checking out all of the details of the shrine.

Outside the shrine itself you can find other temples and shrines as well, such as Hokoku Shrine, Daigan-ji, and Kiyomori Shrine.


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