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The centuries-old Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社, Itsukushima Jinja) on Miyajima is the source of both the island's fame and its name. Formally named Itsukushima, the island is more popularly known as "Miyajima", literally "shrine island" in Japanese, thanks to its star attraction. The shrine is known worldwide for its iconic "floating" torii gate.

The shrine and its torii gate are unique for being built over water, seemingly floating in the sea during high tide. The shrine consists of multiple buildings, including a prayer hall, main hall and noh theater stage, which are connected by boardwalks and supported by pillars above the sea.

Miyajima Island has a long history as a holy site of Shinto. The island's highest peak, Mount Misen, was worshiped by local people as early as the 6th century. In 1168, Taira no Kiyomori, the most powerful man in Japan during the end of the Heian Period, selected the island as the site of his clan's family shrine and built Itsukushima Shrine.

The shrine is located in a small inlet, while the torii gate is set out in the Seto Inland Sea. Paths lead around the inlet, and visitors enjoy walking along them while looking out onto the sea. After sunset, the shrine and the torii gate are illuminated daily until 23:00, providing a perfect backdrop for ryokan guests to enjoy an evening walk in yukata and geta sandals. It is not possible to enter the shrine after sunset, though.

Alternatively, tourists can view the illuminated island from boat cruises. Cruises last thirty minutes, cost 1600 yen and take passengers around the bay and to the torii gate. Reservations are required and can be made through one's ryokan or at the tourist information desk.

Because the experience of Itsukushima Shrine involves the water over which it is built, it is good to be aware of the timings of the tides during one's visit. At high tide the shrine and its gate appear to float above the water, and this is certainly the time at which they are most picturesque. At low tide, the water drains out of the bay. This is when visitors can take the opportunity to walk out and see the gate from up close.

Getting there and around

Itsukushima Shrine is a ten minute walk from the Miyajima ferry pier.

How to get to and around Miyajima

Hours and Fees

Hours

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Admission

Hotels around Miyajima

Top rated on Miyajima
Budget:
    • Yamaichi Bekkan
      Budget-friendly
      Only a 1-minute walk from Miyajima Ferry Terminal, Yamaichi Bekkan features accommodations with free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. Yukata robes are provided for all guests. The Itsukushima Shrine is a 10-minute walk away. All rooms feature air conditioning and an electric kettle with green tea bags. Some rooms have carpeted floors and Western beds, and some feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. Each room has an en suite bathroom. Luggage storage is available at the front desk. Japanese dishes featuring local ingredients are available at the restaurant. Guests can choose a Japanese or Western set menu for breakfast. Bekkan Yamaichi is a 7-minute walk from the Five Story Pagoda, and a 15-minute walk from Miyajima Aquarium. Momijidani Park is also a 15-minute walk away.
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    • Ryoso Kawaguchi
      Budget-friendly
      Located at Miyajima and featuring beautiful views of the five-story pagoda of Itsukushima Shrine, Ryoso Kawaguchi offers Japanese-style accommodations with free Wi-Fi. Guests can take the ferry boat from Miyajima-guchi Ferry Terminal to Miyajima Ferry Terminal, which is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. A free shuttle is also available from Miyajima Ferry Terminal. This hotel was selected as one of Top 25 B&Bs and Inns in Japan by TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award 2013. Smoking is prohibited in all areas. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring and Japanese futon beddings. A flat-screen TV, a fridge, and an electric kettle with green tea are included. Yukata robes and a private toilet are included in each room, but bathrooms are shared. The shared bath is available from 16:00 to 23:00. A common room is located on the 3rd floor and features books, a microwave, and mineral water. A free-use computer with internet is provided by the lobby. Drink vending machines and luggage storage services are also available. Dinner and breakfast can be served at extra charge. A Japanese set menu prepared with local delicacies is offered for dinner. For breakfast, guests can choose between a Western or Japanese set menu. Meals are served at the dining room. Kawaguchi Ryoso is a 5-minute walk from the historical Itukushima Shrine, and a 10-minute walk from Momijidani Park.
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    • Miyajima Guest House Mikuniya
      Budget-friendly
      Located on Miyajima (Itsukushima), Miyajima Guest House Mikuniya offers a Japanese-style accommodation and a small garden. Free Wi-Fi is available. Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 20-minute walk away. Guests can choose to stay in a private Japanese-style room or a dormitory room shared with other guests. Private rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring and traditional futon mattress whereas dormitory room provides wooden beds. Bathrooms, shower rooms and toilets are shared with other guests. The common lounge features tourist guide books, a TV and a desktop computer. Lockers and the common kitchen are also available to guests for free. Mikuniya Miyajima Guest House is a 6-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine and Daisho-in Temple. Guests can also walk to Marine Plaza Miyajima within a 10-minute walk. Lunches and Dinners are not served, but guests are welcome to bring their own food and use the kitchen to prepare meals.
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    • Jukeiso
      Mid-range
      Jukeiso features Japanese-style rooms overlooking the majestic entrance gate (Torii) of Itsukushima-jinja Shrine, only a 5-minute walk from the Unesco World Heritage Site itself. The hotel offers public and private hot baths and a free shuttle to/from Miyajima Ferry Terminal. Free Wi-Fi is provided at the lobby. Japanese-style hotel Jukeiso is a 10-minute walk from Hokoku Shrine and Goju-no-To Pagoda. It's a 14-minute walk from Momijidani Park, and a 19-minute walk from the Miyajima Ropeway at Momijidani Station. Guests can unwind in a public indoor bath, which is available 24 hours, while an outdoor bath for private use offers views of Itsukushima-jinja Shrine. Jukeiso serves a Japanese breakfast and dinner at its restaurant. Besides amazing nature views, comfortable rooms come with a flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge and an en suite bathroom. Yukata robes and green tea are provided. Guests sleep in Japanese futon bedding on the tatami (woven mat) floor.
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    • Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto
      Luxury
      A 3-minute stroll from Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto boasts an outdoor hot spring bath, 3 restaurants and karaoke. It offers luxurious Japanese-style and Western rooms, massages and a free shuttle from Miyajima Pier. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas. Spacious rooms feature either traditional futon bedding on a tatami (woven mat) floor, or carpeting and twin beds. All feature a minimalist interior in neutral colours, with a Japanese-style as well as a Western seating area and an LCD TV. Guests can unwind in a soothing natural hot spring, which is separate for men and women. Arimoto Grand Hotel houses a souvenir shop, drinks vending machines and limited free parking. Authentic Japanese cuisine featuring fresh seafood is served at restaurant Shioji in a stylish contemporary setting, and in more traditional surroundings at Kappo Karaku. The Miyajima Arimoto also offers a coffee lounge, a bar and a Japanese noodle restaurant. Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto is less than a 5-minute walk from the beautiful Pagoda Goju-no-To and historical Senjokaku Hall. The Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 10-minute walk away.
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    • Iwaso
      Luxury
      Located in the World Heritage Miyajima Island, Iwaso features Japanese-style accommodations with beautiful surrounding views. Guests can relax in the indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths and request for massages. A free shuttle is available from Miyajima Ferry Terminal, which is also a 5-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. Rooms in the Annex include a private bathroom with a bath and toilet, while rooms in the historical Main Building and Cottage Annex have shared bathrooms and toilets. Guests can purchase local gifts at the souvenir shop and enjoy singing at the karaoke room. Photocopying and luggage storage services are available at the 24-hour front desk. A computer with internet is provided in the lobby for an extra charge. A traditional multi-course dinner featuring seafood and local ingredients and a Japanese breakfast are served at the restaurant. Iwaso Inn is a 5-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine and Momijidani Park. Miyajima Aquarium is a 10-minute walk away.
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    • Miyajima Seaside Hotel
      Mid-range
      Only a 5-minute drive from Miyajima Ferry Port with its free shuttle, beautiful ocean views can be enjoyed from Miyajima Seaside Hotel. The hotel features a public bath, a karaoke room and free WiFi at the lobby. Japanese-style rooms feature a tatami (woven mat) floor and shoji sliding paper screens. Some rooms offer tranquil views of the Seto Inland Sea. They are fitted with an LCD TV, a mini-fridge and traditional futon beds. An en suite bathroom and yukata robes are provided. Guests can savour Japanese dishes for breakfast and a traditional Japanese set menu for dinner. Miyajima Hotel houses a soothing hot public bath, a souvenir shop and free-use laundry facilities. Drinks vending machines are on-site, and free parking is available. Seaside Hotel Miyajima is a 5-minute drive from the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, a Unesco World Heritage Site. It's a 5-minute drive from Senjokaku Hall, and an 8-minute drive from Daisho-in Temple. Miyajima Ropeway lift is a 5-minute shuttle and a 20-minute walk away.
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    • Hotel Miyajima Villa
      Mid-range
      Located in Miyajima, 2.3 km from Tsutsumigaura Beach, Hotel Miyajima Villa provides accommodation with a garden, free private parking, a restaurant and a bar. This 3-star hotel offers luggage storage space. Providing free WiFi throughout the property, the non-smoking hotel features a hot spring bath. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom with a bidet. All units in Hotel Miyajima Villa are equipped with free toiletries and a CD player. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy an Italian or an Asian breakfast. Popular points of interest near Hotel Miyajima Villa include Five Storey Pagoda, Itsukushima Shrine and Daisho-in Temple. The nearest airport is Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport, 28 km from the hotel.
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    • Mizuhasou
      Budget-friendly
      Located right in front of Miyajima Aquarium and a 5-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine's exit, Mizuhasou offers accommodations in a modern yet traditional d?cor. Free Wi-Fi is available at the entire building. Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 15-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a fridge. Rooms include a private toilet but bathrooms are shared. Japanese Yukata robes and room wear are provided for all guests, and you can choose to stay in either Japanese or Western-style rooms. Mizuhasou Inn is a 10-minute walk from Momijidani Park and a 15-minute walk from Momijidani Ropeway Station. Traditional multi-course meals are served for dinner and a Japanese set menu for breakfast. Japanese-style hotel Mizuhasou specialises in fresh seafood and exquisitely prepared local seasonal dishes. Meals are served at the dining room.
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    • Sakuraya
      Mid-range
      Renewed in 2013, Sakuraya offers affordable Japanese-style rooms with mountain or sea views. Free Wi-Fi is available at the public areas. Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 3-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. Each comes with a flat-screen TV and an electric kettle with green tea bags. All rooms have a private toilet, and some have shared bathroom facilities. The shared bath is available between 15:00-23:00 daily. Luggage storage is offered at the front desk and drink vending machines are on site. Guests can enjoy fresh oysters at the property. Sakuraya Inn is a 10-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine and Momijidani Park. Miyajima Ropeway is a 15-minute walk away. No meals are served.
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