Dec 30, 2018 Culture Miyajima

The History, Rules&Manners of Itsukushima Shrine

#Culture ,#Historical Site ,#Tradition ,#Travel Tip ,#Trivia

Bustling with many tourists, Miyajima is often called “the Island of Gods”. Itsukushima Shrine is especially important as Miyajima’s symbol. Its beautiful, scarlet shrine building and large floating O-torii gate are its highlights. Knowing Itsukushima Shrine’s history and some manners will definitely help you enjoying Itsukushima Shrine.

What is Itsukushima Shrine?

Itsukushima Shrine is one of the Shinto shrines on the island of Miyajima. It was constructed in the year 593. The shrine stretches out to the sea, and its large floating O-torii gate leaves quite the impression. The three main gods of Shintoism are worshiped at this shrine, and its considered to bring good fortune to travel, prevent water disasters, and be auspicious for marriage. There are actually many couples who hold their wedding ceremonies at this Shrine.

Rules and Manners at Itsukushima Shrine

When visiting here, it’s a good idea to know about how to pray, things that aren’t allowed, and manners to follow in advance.

Business Hours&Entrance Fee

The hours you can visit Itsukushima Shrine change according to the season. In general, you can visit the shrine from 6:30 in the morning, but it’s a good idea to check the official website ahead of time.

1/1 12:00a.m.-6:30p.m.
1/2-3 6:30a.m.-6:30p.m.
1/4-Feburay 6:30a.m.-5:30p.m.
3/1-10/14 6:30a.m.-6:00p.m.
10/15-11/30 6:30a.m.-5:30p.m.
12/1-31 6:30a.m.-5:00p.m.

Also, there is a fee to visit the shrine. Credit cards are not accepted, so you need to prepare Japanese yen in advance.

Adult ¥300
High School ¥200
Elementary&Middle School ¥100

 Prohibited Behavior

Below actions are not allowed at Itsukushima Shrine.

  • No smoking, eating or drinking
  • Graffiti or any action which will damage or mark the Shrine buildings
  • Any action which will cause trouble to other visitors
  • Entering or leaving from places other than the exit and entrance
  • Jumping off the shrine buildings
  • Going into areas that are off-limits
  • Visiting while wearing yukata (Japanese bathing robe) from Japanese inns

When taking pictures, it’s convenient to use a handy size grip attachment instead of a tripod.

How to Pray

There is a set walking path and way to pay homage at Itsukushima Shrine. First, the walk way around Itsukushima Shrine is one-way. Please be careful to not go in the opposite direction, and continue down the path slowly.Continuing along the path, you will see the main shrine. Beside the main shrine is a place to wash and cleanse your hands. You should cleanse you hands there.

How To Cleanse Your Hands At The Hand Washing Area

  1. Hold the ladle in your right hand, and pour water on your left hand.
  2. Transfer the ladle to your left hand, and this time pour water on your right hand.
  3. Pour water into your right hand from the ladle, and use it to rinse your mouth.
  4. Pour water on your right hand again, and wash away the area on the ground where you spit out water after rinsing your mouth
  5. Put an offering into offering box
  6. Lower head and bow twice
  7. Bring your palms together at chest height and clap twice
  8. Finally, lower your head and bow once

Be careful not to let your lips touch the ladle directly.

Next we will move on to the main shrine. The standard worshiping practice is “two bows, two claps, one bow.”

Worshiping Instructions

  1. Put an offering into offering box
  2. Lower head and bow twice
  3. Bring your palms together at chest height and clap twice
  4. Last, lower head and bow once

By first lowering your head twice, you express respect to the gods. By lowering your head at the end, you say thank you and send them back. It might be a little difficult, but please give it a try.

Omamori (Good Luck Charms)

There are a few things that only the people who visit Itsukushima Shrine can enjoy. First is “omamori” (good luck charms). There are many different kinds of omamori at Itsukushima Shrine.

  • Trafic Safety
  • Better Fourtune
  • Academic Achievement
  • Prosperity in Business
  • Healthy Longevity
  • Certain VictoryEasy Delivery

For those who want to enjoy good fortune, how about trying to receive blessings with an omamori?

As One of the Most Popular Photogenic Spot!

You can also get a good view of the floating O-torii gate from the “Hirabutai” (roofless stage) which stretches from the main building out towards the sea. It’s a popular photo spot, so it would probably be nice to commemorate your travel memories here.

Itsukushima Shrine Facility Informaiton

As I showed you here, there are a few visiting manners and rules that need to be followed.
It’s convenient to confirm and check all the important points before your visit. Please enjoy Itsukushima Shrine, a place wrapped in mystique, to your heart’s content!

Itsukushima Shrine
Address 1-1 Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi-shi(map)
Open January / 12:00am – 6:30pm
January 2 – 3/ 6:30am – 6:30pm
Jan 4 – Feb/ 6:30am – 5:30pm
Mar 1 – Oct 14/ 6:30am – 6:00pm
Oct 15 – Nov/ 6:30am – 5:30pm
Dec/ 6:30am – 5:30pm
Website Website
Entrance Fee Adult: ¥300
High school student:¥200
Elementary, middle school student:¥100