Japan Miyajima Central Miyajima

Itsukushima Shrine

A revered Shinto sanctuary, known for its iconic ‘Floating Torii Gate’

Photo of Itsukushima Shrine, Japan (安藝國一之宮 嚴島神社 by Steven Perez)

Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto sanctuary on the island of Itsukushima, known for its construction that creates the illusion of floating on water. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is dedicated to the three daughters of Susano-o no Mikoto and features Shinden-zukuri architecture. It is a harmonious blend of nature and human craftsmanship, offering visitors historic structures and scenic views.

About Itsukushima Shrine

Located in the Seto Inland Sea, Itsukushima Shrine, commonly referred to as Miyajima Shrine, has a rich history dating back to the 12th century, with the site considered sacred since ancient times. Taira no Kiyomori, a prominent figure during the Heian period (794-1185), is credited with constructing the current shrine structures. The complex includes the Honsha shrine, the Sessha Marodo-jinja, and other buildings such as a treasure hall and a noh theater stage.

The ‘floating’ torii gate, known as the Miyajima O-Torii, is constructed of decay-resistant camphor wood and is the shrine’s most recognizable feature. It stands majestically in the sea during high tide, and at low tide, visitors can approach and explore the gate. Traditional bugaku performances add to the cultural charm of the shrine, which continues to function as a place of worship with various ceremonies.

The island, also known as Miyajima or “Shrine Island,” offers nature trails leading to Mount Misen and attractions such as the Itsukushima Museum and Momijidani Park. Free-roaming deer contribute to the island’s allure. In the evening, the shrine and torii gate are illuminated, enhancing their beauty, and boat cruises provide another perspective, though reservations are suggested.

Itsukushima Shrine is an architectural marvel with historic and natural significance. Its cultural performances and architectural details contribute to an immersive experience that reveals the unique relationship between Japanese culture and the environment.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Itsukushima Shrine

Miyajima Pier
 JR Miyajima Ferry + 1 more

 10-20 minute walk (0.9km)

Around Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine

Shinto Shrine in Miyajima


厳島神社, 宮島

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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