Top > Itsukushima Shrine > Highlights of Itsukushima Shrine

Highlights of Itsukushima Shrine

otorii (Grand Gate)Otorii (Grand Gate)A "torii" is an entrance to a Shinto shrine. Otorii stands in front of the shrine pavilions in the sea because people used to visit Itsukushima Shrine from the sea. Otorii is 16 meters high and weighs about 60 tons. Its two big pillars were made using natural camphor trees between 500 and 600 years old. Built using a traditional Japanese construction technique, these pillars stand by themselves without requiring any other means of support.

Honden (Main Sanctuary)

Honden (Main Sanctuary)
Honden (Main Sanctuary)
Honden is the main building of a shrine. The main sanctuary of Itsukushima Shrine id dedicated to three goddesses. General visitors worship the goddesses at a hall of worship located in front of the main sanctuary. Though the present building was reconstructed in 1571, it is a faithful reproduction of the original architectural style dating back to 1168.

Hirabutai (Broad Stage)

Hirabutai (Broad Stage)
Hirabutai (Broad Stage)
Hirabutai is a roofless stage which extends in front of the main shrine, and it is 553 square meters wide. It represents a garden for “Shinden Zukuri” architecture and is supported by 239 stone columns.

Takabutai (High Stage)

Takabutai (High Stage)
Takabutai (High Stage)
Takabutai is a stage on which "bugaku" (traditional Japanese court music accompanied by dancing) is performed. It is located in front of the honden. The present stage was constructed in 1546 and is the smallest stage used for "bugaku" performance. It is said that "bugaku" was introduced to Miyajima from Kyoto about 800 years ago; it has now become an extremely valuable cultural heritage element.

Soribashi (Arched Bridge)

Soribashi (Arched Bridge)
Soribashi (Arched Bridge)
The bridge is said to have been used by royal messengers when entering the main shrine to attend important rituals. The present bridge was reconstructed in 1557.

Noh Butai (Noh Stage)

Noh Butai (Noh Stage)
Noh Butai (Noh Stage)
This is the only Noh stage in Japan which stands in the sea. Noh began to be performed in Miyajima about 440 years ago. Since this Noh stage is built in the sea, its structure differs from that of other Noh stages due to the fact that its floor is designed to echo footsteps.

Kairo (Corridor)

Kairo     (Corridor)
Kairo (Corridor)
The corridor connects the shrine pavilions. It is four meters wide and 275 meters long. The gaps between its floorboards are designed to reduce sea water pressure during high tides, and to channel seawater and rainwater into the ocean.
Miyajima, an Island
where People and Gods
Live Together
Useful Information

E-Town Miyajima