- 1: Wait for the low tide
- 2: Cruise under Itsukushima Shrine’s Torii gate
- 3: Admire Itsukushima shrine illuminated at night
1: Wait for the low tide
This tip has actually become a bit famous among tourists, but it’s a unique experience you shouldn’t miss. When walking toward the torii at low tide, you may be surprised by how far it actually is from the coast and how huge and massive it is.
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, but there is a trick: stones are embedded inside In the upper part of the torii making it heavy enough to stand on it’s own. Through this building technique, it’s very resistant to rain and wind.
You can even observe the clams that have made the torii base their home.
You can check the tide for the day and time of your visit on this webpage. Enter the year, month and day of your visit on top of the page and click on the grey button. In the two columns under it, you can check the height of the tide for every hour. When the tide is under 100cm, it means you can walk to the torii. When it’s more than 250cm, Itsukushima shrine will look as if it’s floating on water.
2: Cruise under Itsukushima Shrine’s Torii gate
Several companies provide services for you to take a look at the Torii from different angles. The highlight of the cruise is passing underneath the Torii gate like people used to do in ancient times.
If happen to do it during the sunset, you’ll be able to capture truly magical pictures.
3: Admire Itsukushima shrine illuminated at night
Illumination starts when the sun sets and is available until 11PM everyday.
The lights reflect on the surface of the sea, making the place look even more sacred. You may most enjoy this walk after dinner on the island as there will be a lot less tourists as well.
You don’t have to stay in Miyajima to see this night view, but be sure to check the ferry schedule so you don’t miss your ride back to your place!
1162-18 Miyajimachō, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima Prefecture