Other Temples & Shrines
Tahoto Pagoda, Omoto Shrine, Kiyomori Shrine...
There are numerous shrines and temples, and each of them have a very interesting history. For example, Tahoto, the Ohmoto shrine, and the Kiyomori shrine.
Tahoto (Two-storied Pagoda)
This pagoda is said to have been built in 1523. The Buddha of Medicine was worshipped here, but was moved to Daiganji Temple following the Meiji Restoration (1868).
The name of the pagoda was changed to Hozan Shrine in 1880, and the deified warlord Kato Kiyomasa was then worshipped here, while the building itself came under the jurisdiction of Itsukushima Shrine. In 1918,the spirit of Kato Kiyomasa was moved to Toyokuni Shrine, where he is worshipped to this day.
A particular architecture
The pagoda exterior is traditionally Japanese, but various architectural styles can be seen in the pagoda's details. For example, the Daibutsu (Great Buddha) style can be observed in the protruding ends, called kobushibana, of the horizontal bars that penetrate the structure's vertical pillars. Another example is the Zen style applied to the daiwa, which are the beams connecting the tops of the pillars.
The kaerumata (frog lap) is a wooden support that resembles two open legs of a frog. Its function is to carry the weight of the upper beams of the structure. There is one kaerumata in the center under each of the lower eaves. These highly decorative parts are engraved with Sanskrit characters.
During Japan's Warring Period (1467-1568), a villa called Katsuyama-no-yakata was built near here. The famous warlord Ouchi stayed in the villa when visiting the island.
It is said that Sue, the warlord who succeeded Ouchi, established his headquarters at this villa during the Battle of Itsukushima (1555).
A number of cherry trees have been planted around the pagoda, making it an idyllic spot for viewing cherry blossoms in spring.
A trail (Asebi walk) wends its way from this spot to Komaga-bayashi along the ridge of the hill.
The main hall was designated as a National Important Cultural Property on February 18, 1948.
This shrine is dedicated to Kunitokotachi-no-mikoto, Oyamazumi-no-mikoto and other deities. It is unknown when the shrine was established, but it may have existed in 1443, as a wooden pole of the shrine bears ink letters mentioning that year. It was rebuilt in 1523.
The roof of the main hall is constructed in the "Omoto style," a unique style not seen anywhere else. In the construction, six layers of staggered shingles are layered three times, so that most of the roof is covered by eighteen layers of shingles.
The festival "Momotesai" is held here on January 20.
The shrine contains many votive tablets with the words "Oshima-meguri" (Touring around the Island). "Oshima-meguri" is a local Shinto ritual popular since the Edo period.
At Kangensai (Court Music Festival) , the musicians on the sacred boat play court music near this shrine, and then head for Itsukushima Shrine. There are also stone lanterns standing on the shore of this shrine.
Kiyomori Shrine was built 770 years after the death of Taira-no-Kiyomori in 1954 to commemorate him and console his spirit.
Around March 20th, the anniversary of his death, the Kiyomori Festival is held.
It was the first Jyodo sect Buddhist temple in Miyajima, and was allegedly founded by Ihachi, in the Muromachi period (1392 to 1573). The temple was originally built as a place for people to worship, and run by followers in Miyajima. It was also the temple where the well known priest and benefactor of Miyajima, Seishin, took part in spiritual and ritual training while serving Miyajima. There is a steel monument of the virtuous priest Seisin adjacent to the temple precinct.
A famous Shingon Buddhist sect, said to be founded in 946. They are also called the Asebi Dera, because Asebi (Pieres japonica) were growing in the colonies on the hill behind the temple. They have a collection of the principal images of Buddha, the Amida statue normally withheld from public view, and many other Buddhist statues and Buddhist paintings. Kangiten, the famous god of business prosperity is worshiped in the Shoten hall precinct.
This is the only Jyodo Shinshu temple on the island. There were strict spiritual taboos in Miyajima in the past, and the Shinshu sect of Buddhism was also taboo on the island. Due to the migration of Aki disciples, and marriages, followers of the Shinshu sect increased and a preaching house was established before World War Two. After the war, there were amendements to the law, and it became an independent temple.
This place is believed to be beneficial for people who have vision related problems, and there is the Yakushi Buddha Hall which was said to be founded when the twelve gods statue was brought back from Ichibata yakushi temple in Izumo about 300 years ago. It is a Sotoshu sect temple located at the foot of Yogaizan, and it is not certain when it was founded.
This is a Sotoshu Sect temple famous for those wishing to become pregnant, and its Jizo is called Kinseki.
The Origin of the Kinseki Jizo
There once was an old couple who did not have any children, and were filled with sorrow. They kept praying to Buddha for a child. One night, they had a dream of the Jizo stone shining, so they went to a bamboo bush and found it. They took great care of the Jizo and finally had a boy. They
Believed in the Jizo and built a temple in 1715. The Jizo stone then turned to a golden color, and they started calling it the Kinseki Jizo.