The sacred island of Miyajima and the famous floating torii

Miyajima Travel Blog

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The floating torii (shinto gate) viewed from the ferry, with the Itsukushima Shrine behind it. At low tide you can walk up to it, but I think it's way cooler when it looks like it's floating.
I have to thank another travbuddy for inspiring me to go to Miyajima.. ErinPatty wrote a blog and had her profile photo with the famous floating torii (shinto gate) behind her. I found out it was right next to Hiroshima, so we planned to stay 2 days in Hiroshima so we can also go to Miyajima. I also wanted to be there when the sun sets. We took the train to Miyajima-guchi and boarded the ferry across the short distance to the island of Miyajima (both covered by the JR pass we had). We could spot the torii before we got off the train, and it was a cool sight to see. The torii is supposed to denote that the island is sacred and no births or deaths are allowed to happen on the island.
The floating torii viewed from the ferry


After getting off the ferry, we were immediately greeted by several tame deer. And there were a lot of deer to be sure. Some were very bold and pestered tourists for treats. Even though there were signs saying to not touch or feed them, the signs were ignored by most. So you do have to walk a little carefully to avoid stepping on the deer droppings.

The vermillion colored torii, about 50 feet high, is set in the sea to appear floating when the tide is high, but it's not actually floating. When the tide is low, you could walk up to it. I didn't time it so it would be high tide, so it was just our luck that the tide was high enough. The Itsukushima Shrine built on stilts dates from the year 593 behind it could also be in the water, but the tide wasn't high enough for that when we were there, still it was a very interesting place and lots of photo opportunities.
The floating torii viewed from the ferry


We walked through the street lined with shops to get to the are of the torii, and bought tickets to go into the Itsukushima Shrine. We probably should have gone to see the Senjokaku Paviilion first, which was a big pavilion measured by the number of tatamis it held. By the time we looped around, the pavilion was closed. We walked through the long corridors of the shrine and exited on the other side of the cove. Some people were walking toward the torii in the water. We walked back around the back of the shrine and to where we started to take some photos of the torii during sunset. Many photographers were lined up with tripods for their shots. We left Miyajima in the dark on the ferry, and went back to Hiroshima to find our dinner. One can also stay on the island overnight, which might also provide a chance to take photos at dawn.
portia says:
yes, it's pretty impressive!
Posted on: Apr 19, 2008
sylviandavid says:
Great blog.... I didn't realize it was 50 feet high.
Posted on: Apr 19, 2008
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The floating torii (shinto gate) v…
The floating torii (shinto gate) …
The floating torii viewed from the…
The floating torii viewed from th…
The floating torii viewed from the…
The floating torii viewed from th…
view to the west from the ferry he…
view to the west from the ferry h…
A look back at the main island of …
A look back at the main island of…
Welcome sign at Miyajima islanad
Welcome sign at Miyajima islanad
Kevin greeted by a deer on the isl…
Kevin greeted by a deer on the is…
Plenty of deer around
Plenty of deer around
local woman letting her kid pet th…
local woman letting her kid pet t…
a kid and a deer, even though a si…
a kid and a deer, even though a s…
a store front on the island
a store front on the island
the street leading to the torii is…
the street leading to the torii i…
more street scene
more street scene
animated stuffed cats also meow, w…
animated stuffed cats also meow, …
A huge rice scooper made from a 27…
A huge rice scooper made from a 2…
The sign giving the story behind t…
The sign giving the story behind …
more water basin to cleanse your h…
more water basin to cleanse your …
deer pestering tourists
deer pestering tourists
The famous torii
The famous torii
the sun is going down
the sun is going down
kevin and I
kevin and I
the 5-storied pagoda built in 1407…
the 5-storied pagoda built in 140…
the torii seen from the Itsukushim…
the torii seen from the Itsukushi…
an egret at the waters edge
an egret at the water's edge
view of the shrine as we entered
view of the shrine as we entered
long corridors of the shrine
long corridors of the shrine
shrine
shrine
five story pagoda, and the roof of…
five story pagoda, and the roof o…
view of the shrine
view of the shrine
people walking into the cove, view…
people walking into the cove, vie…
inside the shrine
inside the shrine
corridors of the shrine
corridors of the shrine
shrine
shrine
more view of the shrine as we walk…
more view of the shrine as we wal…
view of the pagoda from the shrine
view of the pagoda from the shrine
long corridor
long corridor
storage of sake, dont know why th…
storage of sake, don't know why t…
roof of a building behind the shri…
roof of a building behind the shr…
statue of a stone lion
statue of a stone lion
torii
torii
torii viewed from the west side of…
torii viewed from the west side o…
torii
torii
stone lanterns at the west side of…
stone lanterns at the west side o…
torii
torii
a bridge from the shrine
a bridge from the shrine
architecture of a home behind the …
architecture of a home behind the…
a door
a door
The outside of the Pavilion
The outside of the Pavilion
Roof detail of the pavilion
Roof detail of the pavilion
the five story pagoda
the five story pagoda
the torii at sunset
the torii at sunset
sunset torii
sunset torii
torii at sunset
torii at sunset
ferry landing at MIyajima-guchi
ferry landing at MIyajima-guchi
Miyajima
photo by: liekevo