Japan Miyajima Central Miyajima

Miyajima O-Torii

The Grand Vermilion Gate, a spiritual threshold at the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine.

Photo of Miyajima O-Torii, Japan (the gate at twilight by Steven Perez)

Miyajima O-Torii stands as a revered symbol of Japan, blending spirituality and natural beauty. This grand vermilion gate, marking the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine, captivates visitors with its unique floating appearance at high tide. First built in the 12th century and reconstructed in 1875, the O-Torii has witnessed centuries of history, symbolizing the connection between the human and spiritual realms.

About Miyajima O-Torii

The O-Torii’s striking presence is accentuated by its construction, a harmonious combination of timber, cypress bark, and lacquer designed to withstand the movements of water and sand. At 16.8 meters tall, its imposing stature reflects the architectural prowess and spiritual vision of its creators. The gate has undergone multiple reconstructions to maintain the sacred essence that has established it as a focal point of Japanese religious architecture.

The gate’s cultural significance extends beyond its physical form. As an integral part of the Itsukushima Shrine, the O-Torii is also a part of the shrine’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its design, which seems to defy gravity at high tide, creates an illusion of floating alongside the shrine, both structures harmonizing with the ebb and flow of the sea.

Visitors to Miyajima are encouraged to experience the O-Torii at different times of the day. During low tide, the opportunity to walk out and touch the gate’s pillars is a rare experience, allowing for an intimate connection with this cultural marvel. Conversely, the high tide offers a dramatic visual, with the gate appearing to float on the water’s surface, particularly striking during the soft hues of sunrise and sunset.

The O-Torii is not only a symbol of Japanese spirituality but also a beloved subject for photographers and a must-visit for those exploring Miyajima. Its grandeur and the tranquil beauty of its surroundings offer a moment of reflection and a chance to witness the seamless blend of human craftsmanship and natural splendor.

For those planning to visit, it is important to note that due to ongoing refurbishment, there may be periods when the O-Torii is covered or unavailable for viewing. However, when accessible, the O-Torii’s majesty is unmissable, a cultural and spiritual beacon drawing admirers from around the world.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Miyajima O-Torii

Miyajima Pier
 JR Miyajima Ferry + 1 more

 10-20 minute walk (0.9km)

Around Miyajima O-Torii

Miyajima O-Torii

Torii Gate in Miyajima

open 24 hours
closed Irregularly


大鳥居, 宮島

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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