Miyajima has several important Buddhist temples, including the 1201 Daigan-ji, which dates back to the Heian period and is dedicated to Benzaiten, the Japanese name for Saraswati (the Hindu goddess of good fortune). The seated image of Yakushi Nyorai here is said to have been carved by Buddhist saint Kōbō Daishi.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Miyajima attractions

1. Miyajima History & Folklore Museum

0.05 MILES

Set in a fine garden, this museum combines a 19th-century merchant house with exhibitions on trade in the Edo period, as well as displays connected with…

2. Floating Nō Stage

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On one side of Itsukushima-jinja is a floating nō stage, built by local lord Asano Tsunanaga in 1680 and still used for nō (stylised dance-drama)…

3. Itsukushima-jinja


With origins as far back as the late 6th century, Itsukushima-jinja gives Miyajima its real name. The shrine's unique and attractive pier-like…

4. Floating Torii

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This 16m-tall vermilion torii (shrine gate) is a symbol of Miyajima and the watery entrance to World Heritage shrine Itsukushima-jinja. At high tide, it…

5. Tahō-tō

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South of Itsukushima-jinja, stone steps (before you reach Miyajima History & Folklore Museum) lead up from the road to this picturesque pagoda. There's a…

6. Senjō-kaku

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Dominating the hill immediately to the north of Itsukushima-jinja is this huge pavilion, built in 1587 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The atmospheric hall is…

7. Daishō-in

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Just south of town at the foot of Misen, Daishō-in is a worthwhile stopping point on the way up or down the mountain. This Shingon temple is crowded with…

8. Momiji-dani-kōen

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Momiji means 'maple', and their leaves come alive during autumn in this pretty park along the river.