Miyajima (Itsukushima Shrine)
The Shrine built on the water was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1996. A place where people have long carried out ancient rites, Itsukushima Shrine (The name Itsukushima means 'island of worship') has become world renowned, attracting visitors from ever where
It was originally built 1423 years ago in 593CE by Saeki no Kuramoto. Later, Taira no Kiyomori became heavily involved with the shrine. It is said he erected this shrine on top of the water after becoming the first samurai to assume the role of the Daijō-Daijin (the head of the imperial government).
Itsukushima Shrine is one of the 'Three Views of Japan' along with Matsushima Island and Amanohashidate. The high stage in front of the Main Shrine is known as one of Japan's 'three big stages', the others being the stone stage at Shitenno-ji Temple and Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine in Osaka. Itsukushima Shrine's religious 'Kangen Festival', takes place every year on 17th June according to Japan's old lunar calendar. There is plenty to see at this World Heritage Site.
How to get there ?
To reach the ferry port from Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (25 minutes). Alternatively, you can take tram line number 2 from central Hiroshima bound for Miyajimaguchi. The tram is slower.