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Photo By: PIXTA/ icomini
Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Hiroshima
Population
2,878,949

Daisho-in Temple

A temple located at the foot of Mount Misen on Miyajima Island.

By Abhijit Sen

Daisho-in Temple is a Japanese Buddhist temple affiliated with the Shingon sect. It is situated at the base of Mount Misen on Miyajima Island, Hiroshima Prefecture. The temple has a vibrant and peaceful atmosphere, with lush greenery and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and sea.

Temple Background

Daisho-in Temple

Photo by: PIXTA/ papa88 A temple established over 1,200 years ago.

The Daisho-in temple is a venerable temple that was established over 1,200 years ago by the renowned philosopher and monk Kobo-Daishi (also known as Kukai). It has a rich history and is one of the most prestigious temples in the region, with strong connections to the Imperial family. The temple played a pivotal role as a prayer room for Emperor Toba’s Imperial Order, and it was also a favorite residence for Emperor Meiji during his visits. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the temple has been used as a venue for various cultural events, such as tea ceremonies, including one held by the famous Japanese warlord Hideyoshi.

Temple Grounds and Statues

Daisho-in Temple

Photo by: Abhijit Sen The mist allows a fantastically unique view of the temple grounds.

The entrance to the temple is the Neomon Gate, which houses a pair of Neo statues. The gate is a true masterpiece of woodworking, boasting flawless craftsmanship and stunning visual appeal. At the entrance of the temple, there’s a steep staircase that leads up to the main hall. On closer inspection, one can notice that beneath the metal top of the handrail, there are metal wheels engraved with the Prajnaparamita Sutra, which was brought from India. It is believed that if one spins those wheels, they will receive a blessing.

Before reaching the stairs, there is a winding path on the left side. The path is adorned with hundreds of small Buddhist statues of various shapes and forms. During the Maple Light Up festival, a mysterious mist is artificially created periodically using water from the Mount Misen primeval forest.

Century Old Bell

Daisho-in Temple

Photo by: Abhijit Sen Climb the stairs and make a wish.

There is a century-old large bell at the end of a staircase, and next to it, there is a wishing pot where people throw clay balls to make their wishes. The uppermost part of the stairs leads to a central hall surrounded by different buildings. The grand Kannondo to the right contains precious objects, including an impressive statue of an eleven-faced Bodhisattva. Behind the main hall of Daisho-in temple is a stairway to a cave called Henjokutsu, which houses eighty-eight Buddhist statues under a ceiling covered with lanterns.

The forested mountain of Miyajima Island offers a breathtaking view and is inhabited by wild deer and tanukis. In autumn, the maple trees surrounding the temple turn into a beautiful array of colors, offering a picturesque view that attracts many tourists. The autumn festival is held during this time of year, drawing visitors who come to see the colorful foliage.

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

Opening hours 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. There is no entrance fee to visit the general temple premises.

During the Maple Light Up Festival, a specific admission fee is required to enter. Visiting hours are from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. and the entrance fee is  ¥1,000

PLACES OF INTEREST

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine is another famous destination on Miyajima island, and this iconic attraction is just a quick five-minute stroll away from the Daisho-in temple.

Momijidani Park

One of the most beautiful autumn scenes in Japan is found in a park where the vibrant red of Japanese maples stands out against the rich green of an evergreen forest. This park is highly recommended and worth visiting.

How To Get There

Address

By train

To reach Miyajima Island from Miyajimaguchi Pier, it is a six minute walk from Miyajimaguchi station. You will need to take the JR Miyajima Ferry. 

Once you arrive at Miyajima pier it will take about 30 minutes to reach the temple.

Where To Stay

Miyajima Morinoyado Inn
  • Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima, 739-0588 Japan
  • ¥17,300 - ¥34,600
  • 0.4 km
Sakuraya
  • 853-1 Miyajimacho (Hamanocho), Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima, 739-0550 Japan
  • ¥16,400 - ¥16,400
  • 4.63/5 (74 reviews)
  • 0.9 km
Miyajima Coral Hotel
  • 1-9-8 Miyajimaguchi, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima, 739-0411 Japan
  • ¥9,900 - ¥12,650
  • 4.45/5 (1,691 reviews)
  • 2.4 km
Grandvrio Hotel Miyajima Wakura
  • 1-1-37 Miyajimaguchinishi, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima, 739-0412 Japan
  • ¥9,000 - ¥50,500
  • 4.57/5 (689 reviews)
  • 2.4 km
Aki Grand Hotel
  • 1-1-17 Miyajimaguchinishi, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima, 739-0412 Japan
  • ¥20,900 - ¥25,300
  • 4.09/5 (1,543 reviews)
  • 2.4 km

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