The one and only walking tour of Aki-no Miyajima, Japan

where to walk & what to see

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1.Seishin Turui

At the end of the Edo period, the priest Seisin is said to have dug 10 wells on the island for the islanders who suffered from thirst. Four of them are still preserved.

Seishin also worked for manufacturing the rice scoops(Shakushi) which later became one of the most famous Miyajima handicrafts.

2.Statue of Taira no Kiyomori

Taira No Kiyomori was a significant historical figure in Japan. He at first became a governor of Aki (One part of the old region of Hiroshima) Province and became a Prime Minister in Japan.

He built Itsukushima shrine with the Shinden-zukuri style, and introduced Bugaku dance, transcribed Hokekyo sutras with his clan, and dedicated the transcripts, which is a representative national treasure known as Heike-nokyo (Heike Scrolls) today.

3.World Cultural Heritage Monument

Itsukushima Shrine was designated as a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO in December, 1996. The registered district is 431.2 hectares of land including the main building of Itsukushima Shrine, its surrounding buildings, the front sea area, and the primeval forest of Mt. Misen soaring high behind the shrine complex.


O-Shakushi is the World’s Largest Wooden Rice Scoop, which is 7.7 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, weighs 2.5 tons and is made from 270 year old zelkova tree. Miyajima is famous for its quality wooden rice scoops, which are basically a household essential in Japan. O-Shakushi was created to celebrate the history of wooden rice scoops in Miyajima.

5.Machiya street

Behind the Omote-Sando shopping street with a lot of visitors going and coming around souvenir shops is a backstreet called Machiya Street. It is a nostalgic avenue with old townscape and preserves the atmosphere of past epoch. There are cafes and art galleries renovated from old folk houses lining the street.

6.Five-storied Pagoda

The Five-storied Pagoda was originally constructed in 1407. The pagoda as a whole was constructed in Japanese style however, Chinese influence can also be seen in such parts as the top of the wooden pillars supporting the eaves, as well as in the tails of the rafters.


The name of Senjokaku describes the spaciousness of the building, as Senjokaku is in fact approximately the size of one thousand tatami mats.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the three unifiers of Japan, commissioned Senjokaku for the purpose of chanting Buddhist sutras for fallen soldiers. The building was not yet completed when Hideyoshi died in 1598. As Tokugawa Ieyasu took power thereafter rather than the Toyotomi heirs, the building was never fully completed.

8.O-torii Gate

The O-torii Gate is the symbol of Miyajima. It was originally built in 1168 and the current Torii, which is the eighth, was erected in 1875. It is 16.6 meters in height and the circumference of the main pillar is 9.9 meters, and made from naturally grown camphor wood. It stands in front of Itsukushima Shrine in harmony.

9.Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine is known for the unique and bold concept of being built in the sea as well as its elegant architectural style called “Shinden Zukuri”. It is said to have been first built in 593, and the present shrine pavilions were constructed in 1168. The vermilion-painted main building creates a beautiful contrast with the blue sea and green mountains; when the tide comes in, the shrine looks as if it is floating on the sea. This historical piece of cultural heritage stands in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings.

10.Daiganji Temple

Daiganji Temple is an ancient Shingon Buddhist temple that stands next to Itsukushima Shrine. It has strong ties with Shinto shrines. It used to be in full charge of the repair and construction of temples and shrines including Itsukushima Shrine. The temple is dedicated to Benzaiten, the goddess of eloquence, music, and wealth, and enshrines one of the three most famous Benzaiten statues in Japan in addition to many other valuable Buddhist statues.

11.Tahoto (Two-storied Pagoda)

This pagoda is said to have been built in 1523. The pagoda exterior is traditionally Japanese, but various architectural styles can be seen in the pagoda’s details. During Japan’s Warring Period (1467-1568), a villa called Katsuyama-no-yakata was built near here.

12.Daishoin Temple

Although Daishoin is not as well known as Itsukushima Shrine, it has many features that are well worth seeing. It is located at the foot of the thickly forested Misen, and is one of the most famous temples in Miyajima. From Daisho-in’s temple grounds, a hiking trail leads to the summit of Mount Misen, where a few more temple halls are located. The ascent takes about 1.5 hours.

13.Momijidani Park

Momijidani is a park stretching along Momijidani river near the valley at the foot of mount Misen. Cherry blossoms in spring, fresh green leaves in early summer and autumnal tints in fall, the change of seasons is the attraction. The best part is the various hues in autumn created by 700 maple trees.

*Visiting spots are subject to change due to weahter, traffic conditions, and/or social events. 




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