With over 1400 years of history, the Itsukushima Shrine floats on top of the Seto Inland Sea and once served as the holy home of Shintoism. Itsukushima was built on the Island of Miyajima, an island with such reverence that it is held to the status of Goddess, and serves as a symbol of the diversity of Japanese culture and the country’s rich history.
Enter the City of Shrines
For as little as 300 yen or just under 3 American dollars, visitors can explore the vast corridors and grandeur of Itsukushima and admire the traditional Shinto style of architecture. For a combined 500 yen, add the grand treasure hall to your tour and be sure to experience Itsukushima during both high and low tides.
The Tide Times Two
In addition to the beauty of the shrine’s architecture, Itsukushima offers two ways to admire it. During the low tide hours, walk to the grand O-torii gate and discover parts of the island before the tide returns to swallow them up once more. High tide also offers its own dramatic transformation of the shrine. Feel the sea lapping through the floorboards as you walk Itsukushima’s corridors.
Venture Outside of Itsukushima Shrine
There is also much to see on the Goddess herself. Between tides, take a scenic 2-hour adventure up Mt. Misen to the Goddess’s crown where the natural wildlife flourishes in abundance. When you are done exploring the shrine grounds, or if you are just in need of a break, enjoy a meal from one of the many authentic Japanese restaurants located less than a mile from the Itsukushima Shrine. With a host of restaurants that boast an array of culturally inspired Japanese, Italian, and Western cuisine, eating options are plentiful. Experience Japanese style grilled steak from TP dining & café TINO, a Teppanyaki (food grilled on an iron griddle) restaurant, or have your shot at izakaya (pub style food) and Wagyu yakiniku (BBQ) from Aka Kara Hatsukaichi Miyajima Kaido Branch restaurant, both located in Miyajima near the shrine. With so much to eat, visitors will want to be sure to make time just to taste all of what Miyajima has to offer.
Never be too far away from the holiness of Itsukushima while you capture a few selfies to commemorate the experience. Set out for one of the thousands of islands that comprise the Seto Inland Sea where mankind and nature have coexisted for centuries. No matter where your wandering eye takes you in or outside of the Itsukushima Shrine, you will find a harmonious balance of natural beauty and Japanese ingenuity.