Nestled on the tranquil island of Miyajima, Daishoin Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. This serene and spiritual site is one of the oldest and most significant temples in the region.
Located just a short ferry ride from the mainland, Miyajima is a small island steeped in history and tradition. The island’s stunning natural beauty, with its lush forests, sandy beaches, and dramatic mountain ranges, makes it an idyllic destination for tourists looking for a peaceful retreat. Along with nearby Itsukushima Jinja and its floating Torii gate, Daishoin Temple offers visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
Daishoin Temple is a sprawling complex of buildings, statues, and shrines that cover the side of Mt. Misen. As visitors make their way up the temple’s winding paths, magnificent gates, statues, and pagodas greet them, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
One of the most striking features of Daishoin Temple is its impressive collection of statues, which range from small, delicate carvings to towering stone figures. Many of the statues are dedicated to Buddhist deities; they represent different aspects of Buddhist teachings. One particularly famous statue is the “Healing Buddha,” said to have the power to cure illness and bring good luck to those who visit it.
Another highlight of the temple is the pagoda, which offers visitors a panoramic view of the surrounding area. From the top of the pagoda, visitors can take in the stunning natural beauty of Miyajima. Its forests, mountains, and sparkling sea stretch out as far as the eye can see.
One of the most unique features of Daishoin Temple is its impressive collection of prayer wheels. Visitors spin these large wooden wheels, decorated with intricate carvings and calligraphy, as a form of prayer. According to the teachings, each spin of the wheel brings good luck and prosperity to the person spinning it.
In addition to its impressive collection of statues and pagodas, Daishoin Temple also houses a number of smaller shrines and temples dedicated to various aspects of Buddhism. One of the most popular of these is the Temple of the 500 Arhats, which houses a collection of 500 small statues that represent different Buddhist figures.
Another popular shrine is the Temple of the White-robed Kannon, dedicated to the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Visitors can offer prayers and make donations at this shrine known for its peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.
For those looking to delve deeper into the history and teachings of Buddhism, Daishoin Temple also offers a number of educational exhibits and workshops. Visitors can attend lectures on Buddhist philosophy, learn how to make traditional Japanese crafts, or take part in meditation sessions led by trained Buddhist monks.
Overall, Daishoin Temple and Miyajima are must-visit destinations for anyone interested in Japanese culture, spirituality, and history. With its stunning natural setting, an impressive collection of statues and shrines, and rich cultural heritage, this temple offers visitors a truly unforgettable experience.
Visiting Daishoin Temple
To get to Miyajima, you need to take one of the ferries. First, fly or take the train to Hiroshima. From there, you have 2 ferry options: the first is from Grand Prince Hotel Ferry Dock in Hiroshima. This ferry takes about an hour or so and is a private option.
The other ferry is a public ferry from Japan Rail that goes from Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi Station. Simply take a train on the Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi station. This takes about half an hour from Hiroshima Station. You can also take one of the tram lines from Hiroshima, but this will take approximately 1.5 hours. Since the ferry is public, this means it is part of the rail system. If you bought a rail pass, you can use it on this ferry. IC cards can also be used when boarding. The cost as of March 2023 is ￥200. This ferry departs every 10 minutes. It takes approximately 10 minutes to reach the island.
Whereas Itsukushima Jinja is on the coast, Daishoin Temple is on the slope of the mountain. It starts at the bottom near the shrine and continues up to the top. It is easy to reach on foot.
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