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Approximately 4½ Hours
Meals not included
Itsukushima Shinto Shrine
"The island of Itsukushima has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. The first shrine buildings here were probably erected in the 6th century. The present shrine dates from the 12th century and the harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill. The shrine illustrates the Japanese concept of scenic beauty, which combines nature and human creativity."
Travel to sacred Miyajimaguchi and board the ferry that will take you to this beautiful island in the Inland Sea. One of the three most scenic places in Japan, Miyajima has a 1,400-year history as a holy site of Shinto -- an ancient Japanese religion that means 'way of the gods'. Back in the 6th century, it was believed that the gods lived on the island's highest peak -- Mt Misen.
On the island, walk to the stunning Itsukushima Shrine, located in a small inlet. Dedicated to the Shinto deities of seas, storms and sun, the shrine was built like a pier over the water giving the illusion that it's floating above the water. The shrine's unique architecture is typical of the noble houses in the late Heian Period. Dating back to AD 593, the pavilion was expanded in the 12th century by a warlord who selected the island as the site of his family's shrine. Out in the Seto Inland Sea, in front of the shrine, is the striking red torii gate. This traditional Japanese gate rises 52 feet out of the water; its columns measure 32 feet in diameter with support pillars buried deep in the seabed.
After your tour, enjoy some free time to explore the island on your own, including the popular Omotesando Street shopping area. Your excursion ends with a trip on the ferry back to Miyajimaguchi and a chance to savor the beauty and tranquility of the day as you travel by motor coach back to the ship.
Please note: Visiting Itsukushima Shrine requires negotiating some steps and uneven surfaces. Not advisable for passengers with mobility limitations. Wear comfortable walking shoes; the shrine visit includes a two-hour walking tour.