Translated by MATCHA_En
Floating In The Sea - Strolling Through Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima
This is Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima, Hiroshima prefecture, one of the three most scenic places in Japan. Let's visit Itsukushima Shrine and the area with Google Street View!
Written by LIFE STYLE, Inc.
When it’s high tide, the red Shinto torii of Itsukushima Shrine looks as if it’s floating in the ocean.
Part of the Three Most Scenic Views of Japan, alongside Matsushima in Miyagi prefecture and Amanohashidate in Kyoto, Miyajima is a noted tourist spot, visited by many domestic and international tourists each year.
The sight of the red torii reflected on the blue of the ocean is stunning, but if you manage to time your visit just right, you'll be able to see a view so magnificent words will fail you.The red of the torii is reflected within the blue of the ocean. Apparently If you time it just right, you’ll be able to see a view so magnificent that it’ll take your breath away.
Itsukushima Shrine isn't the only famous spot to enjoy on Miyajima however, so today, using the magic of Google Street View (Japanese),we'll take a trip to and do some sightseeing on this island.
The Itsukushima Shrine Torii
Feel free to click on the screen above and explore the surrounding area.
This is Itsukushima Shrine, a structure that has become famous for floating in the ocean. But do you know why it wasn’t built on the shore? Believe it or not, the island of Miyajima itself was looked upon as if it were a god, so they apparently weren’t able to build a shrine to worship that god on the shore.
The god of Itsukushima Shrine is one that protects the area of the ocean that runs around it. Because of that, it’s believed that the god here grants wishes concerning ‘traffic safety’ and ‘safety at sea’.
There is also apparently an area here that will help you increase your luck with school or studies. Let’s go to Itsukushima Shrine and hope for our various wishes to come true.
The Autumn Leaf Path
Miyajima is also a famous spot for viewing the brilliant reds of the maple leaves in autumn. As shown above, you’ll be able to see some magnificent scenery when walking along the paths here. Let’s have a closer look at these paths by using Google Street View. After a short distance you’ll arrive at a stone paved path that, on your right, continues onto Momjidani Park.
Momijidani Park is so named for its roughly 200 momiji, or Japanese maple, trees. Here you can also see a five storied pagoda, which lends the area a very classically Japanese atmosphere.
The Omotesando Shopping Arcade
If you’re looking to buy souvenirs on Miyajima, we highly recommend the Omotesando shopping arcade. At this shopping arcade the large wooden rice paddle, known as a shamoji in Japanese, will surely catch your eye right away. Shamoji are typically used to scoop cooked rice from the pot or serving bowl. Miyajima is believed to be where the shamoji was invented, and as such, you will find many places selling them here.
The largest shamoji on display in Miyajima is 7.5 meters long (roughly 24 feet) and weighs 2.5 tons (roughly 5511 pounds). Along with Itsukushima Shrine, the large shamoji here is also a well known symbol of Miyajima.
When peering out onto the shopping arcade, you’ll notice a number of stores selling another famous item from Miyajima: the momiji manju. This is a cute Japanese confection modeled after a maple leaf. The outside is made from flour, while the inside is stuffed full of the sweet bean paste known as anko.
Part of the fun of visiting Miyajima comes from seeing and trying the various island specialties.
At the End of Your Trip
Miyajima is not just home to a popular shrine, but numerous other sightseeing spots as well. If you'd like to learn more about spots outside of Itsukushima Shrine, take a look at More Than Just Itsukushima Shrine - All The Charming Places In Miyajima.
Address: Hiroshima, Hatsukaichi, Miyajima, 1-1
Hours: 1/6-2/28, 10/15-11/30 6:30-17:30; 3/1-10/14 6:30-18:00; 12/1-12/31 6:30-17:00
Credit Cards: None
Other Languages: Japanese, some English
Nearest Station: Miyajimaguchi Station, JR Sanyo Main Line
Access: 5 minute walk to Miyajimaguchi ferry, then a 10 minute ferry ride
Fee: 300 yen for adults, 200 yen for high-school students, 100 yen for elementary and middle school students
Religious Information: Shinto
Website: Itsukushima Shrine (Japanese)