Go check out the Torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine when the tide is low!

This Torii gate is 16-meters tall and weighs about 60 tons. The central pillars are made from one large camphor tree that’s about 500 to 600 years old. This is the 8th generation of this Torii, but it took nearly 20 years to find the right tree to use for the pillars. The current Torii is not grounded and relies on its weight to stand upright.

Itsukushima Shrine O-Torii

O-Torii at low tide.

It’s larger than I expected! Let’s walk underneath the Torii.

Istukushima Shirne is famous for its floating like Shrines and Torii. I recommend that you take a look beneath the Torii when the tide is low. When I visited, it was very sunny with clear skies. I was so impressed by how it stands upright on it’s own.


I really wanted to quickly get close, but it was actually a bit farther than I thought! It looks huge and distant when the tide is low.


The Torii stands upright relying only on its weight.

As you can see, it’s huge in comparison to the people around it. It measures about 16-meters tall and 24-meters wide with a weight of about 60 tons! More surprisingly, this Torii is not grounded and stands upright by relying only on its weight. I was concerned that it might collapsed during a typhoon or any other natural disaster.


However, my concern turned out to be nothing. In the upper part of the Torii (Shimagi) stones are embedded inside, making it heavy enough to stand on it’s own. Through this building technique, it’s very resistant to rain and wind.

The base of the O-Torii

I was so surprised by old techniques and wisdom put into it’s construction. I even felt some kind of mystical power from this Torii by knowing that it stands upright even during harsh weather.



Check the schedule before coming!

The current Torii is the 8th generation, built in 1875. It’s been standing for 140 years, all on it’s own! The gate is designated as an important cultural asset and is the largest Torii in Japan.

I noticed that the tide was starting to come in while observing this Torii. The tide is low only for a short period of time, so please check the schedule before coming:(written only in Japanese)


O-Torii and a deer

The O-torii at high tide


1-1 Miyajimachō, Hatsukaichi-city, Hiroshima Pref.

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Address 1-1 Miyajimachō, Hatsukaichi-city, Hiroshima Pref.
Hours 6:30~18:00(Until 17:00 during winter)
Access 10 min from Sanin Mainline, Miyajimaguchi station by ferry. 15 min walk from the port.
Phone 0829-44-2020
Website http://www.miyajima.or.jp/english/index.html