Itsukushima (厳島) is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima (宮島), the Shrine Island. The island is one of Hayashi Razan’s (林羅山) Three Views of Japan (日本三景 Nihon Sankei). Itsukushima is part of the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. The island was the town of Miyajima prior to the 2005 merger with Hatsukaichi.

Itsukushima is famous for the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to records, the shrine was established in the time of Empress Suiko. The warrior-courtier Taira no Kiyomori gave the shrine its present form. In 1555, Mōri Motonari defeated Sue Harukata at the Battle of Miyajima. Toyotomi Hideyoshi built a large building, the Senjō-kaku, on a hill above the shrine.

The island of Itsukushima, including the waters around it (part of Seto Inland Sea), and are within Setonaikai National Park. This sea is affected by strong tides. At low tide, the bottom of the sea is exposed past the island’s Torii. At high tide, the sea covers all the previously-exposed mud and fills areas underneath the Shrine.

Itsukushima is mountainous and sparsely settled. It does have an elementary school and a middle school. There are no traffic signals.

Frequent ferry services, operated by JR West (JR Miyajima ferry) and by Miyajima Matsudai Tourist Ship, carry traffic between the island and the mainland. The trip takes about ten minutes. There is an hourly express passenger ferry to Hiroshima harbour.

Miyajima’s maple trees are renowned throughout Japan, and blanket the island in crimson in the autumn. Momiji manju, pastries filled with azuki jam or custard, are popular souvenirs, and carry maple-leaf emblems. Many other varieties such as chocolate and cheese are also available. Because the island is seen as sacred, trees may not be cut for lumber. Deer and monkeys roam freely. Deer are thought of as sacred in the native Shinto religion because they are considered messengers of the gods.

A style of wooden spoon used to serve cooked rice, without impairing the taste, is said to have been invented by a monk who lived on the island. This style of spoon is a popular souvenir and there are some outsized examples around the shopping district.

The peak of Mount Misen, at 535 m, is the highest point on the island. Miyajima Ropeway carries visitors to within a 30-minute hike to the top. There are several sites related to the historical Buddhist priest and founder of Shingon Buddhism, Kōbō Daishi (弘法大師?) (774–835), near the top. The island also contains the Miyajima Natural Botanical Garden (宮島自然植物実験所 Miyajima Shizen Shokubutsu Jikkensho?) on its north coast.

There are many shrines and temples on the island. It is rural and mountainous, only 12 sq. miles, and has a population of about 2000. There are no cities, only small towns with simple houses and privately-owned shops. The islanders work hard to preserve the forests and respect nature. People often take the ten-minute ferry ride from mainland Japan to pray at Miyajima’s shrines and to marvel at the beauty of its forests.

text source: wikipedia




By ferry: It takes about 10 minutes by ferry to travel from Miyajimaguchi pier to the world cultural heritage site of Miyajima.
Two ferry companies operate between Miyajimaguchi and Miyajima island; the JR ferry and the Miyajima Matsudai Kisen.
website: JR West Miyajima FerryMatsudai Kisen tourist ship





































































































































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J∙Festa is a blogging festival showcasing the best of Japan. Here you will find a regular round-up of inspiring articles, thought-provoking stories and arousing images prompted by the announcement of a Japan-related theme. Best of all, everyone is invited to participate!

Participating in a blog carnival is a good way to get your blog noticed by others. Submitting articles also helps to improve your link popularity by building backlinks as well as sending direct traffic to your site.

This is my entry for the July 2011 Blog Carnival!


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12 Responses to “Miyajima the Shrine Island (Itsukushima)”

  1. Sam says:

    J’aurais voulu être la ! c’est magnifique !

    • Lifeyoutv says:

      yep ca l’etait.. dommage qu on ai pas pu rester jusqu a la mare haute, pour voir le temple et le torii dans l’eau..
      on aurait du y aller plus tot le matin ^_^

      prochaine fois :-P

  2. AnnaTrouble says:

    wow! gorgeous photos!!! As always!!! I’ve never been there, but maybe one of these days… I hope… now, let me watch the video! :-)

  3. SanTi says:

    Superbe coin ! super photo ,), tu deviens pro en photographie, continue comme ça man ;) !

    • Lifeyoutv says:

      hehe thanks.. Vivi prend pas mal de photo aussi.. pendant que je fais des videos ;-) moi je fais les photo un peu “special” genre gros plan, plan un peu zarb, .. mon cote graphiste ca lol

      alors, a quand un voyage au Japon?

  4. Kathryn says:

    i was in two minds about going to Miyajima when I was in Hiroshima because I’m not big on touristy places but it really is incredible. The deer are freaky though.

    I really regret not taking the cable car up the mountain because I was later told that looking over the islands in the Seto inland sea is like looking at one of the temple sand gardens (not sure what they are called) come to life.

  5. [...] The Shrine Island [...]

  6. I like the picture with the coin in the crevice of the torii. Interesting.

  7. Aizen says:

    Qu’est ce qu’il est mignon, le petit bambi entrain de somnoler!! Je fond quand je vois ça…
    D’ailleurs j’aime particulièrement ce vénérable Torii surplomblant la mer. C’est merveilleux.

  8. C Ohara says:

    I’ve been to Miyajima and had the momiji manju. I thought it was awesome that there was another place in the world known for maple leaves. :)

    Beautiful pictures. I hope to go back again some day.