Miyajima and the Itsukushima Shrine

Just back from seeing the Itsukushima Shrine and Torii and the island of Miyajima. Had a wonderful day, and the Smurg enjoyed the freedom of no cars on the street. (We only saw 1 the whole day).

Miyajima means “The shrine island” and it’s official name is Itsukushima. Located in the Seto Inland sea, the shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage site and several of it’s buildings are designated National Treasure by the Japanese government.

Itsukushima shrine, is a Shinto shrine and is dedicated to 3 daughters of the God of storms and seas. The whole shrine is build on pillars, because the island was considered sacred and this allowed pilgrims to visit the shrine but still maintain the purity of the island. The same applies to the Torii (Torii means bird perch), by building it over water, they could steer their boats through it and approach the temple.
The island is considered so sacred, that no births or deaths are allowed on the island, people who either are due to give birth or are dying, move to the mainland before their time has come.
It’s truly stunning, the scarlet against the blue of the sea and the green hills, when it’s high tide.

The deer in Miyajima are so tame they just wander along streets and squares and can easily be petted.

Shrine seen from seaside

You can ask this man to row you to temple via the Torii gate, we decided to walk (stroller+boat wasnt a good idea)

The Torii, unfortunately there was restoration work being done, so no postcard perfect picture

Monk wandering along the temple walkways

One of the temples


Bridge behind temple

Roof of temples, with a raven statue!

Stacks of donated rice offerings. These bales contain rice.

Torii seen from temple dock

Statue of monk with prayer beads

Shrine at low tide

Torii at low tide, people stick coins in the wood as offerings to the gods

We did walk up towards to ropeway which takes you to the highest point of the island with the idea to see all the temples and monkeys up there.
By the time we arrived, the Smurg was so fed up with sitting in her stroller and walking about up there was just too dangerous so we came back down.

Throug to cleanse hands before entering holy places.

Torii at the entrance of the fire tiered pagoda. People have been placing pebbles on them

The Seto Sea seen from the ropeway. A little hazy

If you ever go to Japan, I truly recommend this place, take a day though to see it all, and check at what time the tides are in/out so you can see the difference, and walk to the Torii.

Goodnight all



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