Nihon-sankei Aki no Miyajima Food The three most scenic spots in Japan

Aki no Miyajima

An Island Full of Mystery and Romance World Heritage

Since ancient times people have considered Miyajima sacred and have worshipped the island itself as a god. The main shrine is said to have been constructed in 593, the first year of Empress Suiko's reign. The first record of Itsukushima Shrine was alongside other famous shrines in the "Nihon Koki," a Japanese historical text dated 881. During the era of Taira-no-Kiyomori it became a place of worship for the Heike clan, and the main shirine building was constructed around 1168. As the power of the Heike clan increased, so did the number of worshippers at the shrine. It became known amongst the members of the Imperial Court. The Imperial Court and the emperor paid visits to the shrine. Bugaku, ancient Japanese court dance, also began during this period. Even after the fall of the Heike clan, the culture of the Heian period was warmly accepted by the Genji clan and the shrine continued to experience stability and prosperity.

Miyajima Delicacies

Walking around, visitors can enjoy the different sights of Miyajima: the Edo period atmosphere of Machiya-dori, the seasonal, changing colors of the trees in Momiji-dani Park, and the hiking routes of Misen. Shops offer a local specialty, momiji manju (sweets shaped like maple leaves), as well as a variety of Seto Inland Sea marine products.

Kangen-sai (Wind and Strings Festival)June 17th (the old lunar calendar)

Kangen-sai is a festival of entertainment for the gods, started by Taira-no-Kiyomori. Luxurious boats decorated with colorful banners and lanters float in the bay during musical gagaku performances; the scene is like something out of a Heian period picture scroll.

Main Annual Events