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Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima: Video Introduction

Image of Daisho-in Temple at Mt. Misen, Miyajima, one of the three most scenic spots in Japan
Photo:Daisho-in Temple at Mt. Misen, Miyajima, one of the three most scenic spots in Japan

This video, titled "Daisho-in Temple Grounds|4K Video" (大聖院境内風景4K撮影動画), was uploaded by "Daisho-in Temple, Mt. Misen, Miyajima] Official YouTube Channel" (【宮島弥山 大本山 大聖院】公式YouTubeチャンネル).
Daisho-in Temple is a historic temple in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima, in Japan's Chugoku Region. In this video, you can see the highlights of the temple's precincts. You can't help but feel a sense of power from the solemnity of the temple and the many Buddhist statues and Jizo statues, which can be felt even through your screen.
Daisho-in Temple is located on Miyajima Island at the base of Mt. Misen, and offers a panoramic view of Miyajima.
In the video you can enjoy the changing of the seasons and the beautifully colored leaves in the fall. Be sure to check out the highlights of Daisho-in Temple in the video as you read along.

Daisho-in – A Temple in Hiroshima With 1,200 Years of History

Image of Hakkaku Manpuku Hall where the Seven Lucky Gods are enshrined at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima
Photo:Hakkaku Manpuku Hall where the Seven Lucky Gods are enshrined at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima

Daisho-in Temple is the main temple of the Omuro school of Shingon Buddhism, founded by the famous Japanese Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi (Kukai). It was founded in 806, after Kukai returned from Tang Dynasty China and practiced asceticism at Mt. Misen, and is considered the oldest temple on Miyajima.
Daisho-in Temple is home to Kobo Daishi as well as the Sanki Daigongen, the three guardian deities of Mt. Misen. The temple also enshrines Fudo Myoo (Acala, a Buddhist wisdom king), the Seven Lucky Gods, and the eleven-faced Kannon (Goddess of Mercy), all of which were prayed to by the Sengoku Period warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Along with Mondo Yakujin Tokoji Temple in Hyogo Prefecture and Ryusenji Temple in Saitama Prefecture, Daisho-in Temple is known as one of Japan's "Three Great Masters of Fortune and Evil Warding," and is said to be beneficial in warding off bad luck and opening the door to good fortune. Along with Itsukushima Shrine, it is the most prominent power spot on Miyajima, and is also a tourist spot visited by many people.

Henjokutsu Cave – Home to 88 Statues Representing the Shikoku Pilgrimage

Image of Henjokutsu Cave, Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima
Photo:Henjokutsu Cave, Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima

Henjokutsu Cave is a cave located underground in Daishoin's Daishido Hall. The principal images of the 88 sacred sites of the Shikoku Pilgrimage are enshrined in this cave, and sand from each site is buried in front of them. Walking on the buried sand is said to have the same effect as making the pilgrimage to the 88 sacred sites of Shikoku.
In the cave, illuminated by the soft light of the lanterns, the voices of sutra reciters echo through the air, creating a mystical atmosphere. The sight of the numerous Buddhist statues lined up in rows is breathtaking.
[Video] 2:14 - Henjokutsu Cave

Chokugando – A Hall Dedicated to the Buddhist Wisdom Kings

Chokugando is the main hall of Daisho-in Temple. It's said that the hall was originally built by Emperor Toba during the Heian period (794-1185 A.D.) as a place to hold ceremonies for the offering of wishes.
A statue of Fudo Myoo (Acala) is enshrined in the hall. Toyotomi Hideyoshi prayed to Acala for victory and safety at sea during his invasion of Korea. The statue is said to provide protection to those who cross the water to visit Miyajima.
With Acala at the center, 1,000 Buddhist statues and 36 Doji (attendants) are enshrined in the four directions. The solemn atmosphere here will leave you speechless.
[Video] 1:54 - Chokugando

Make a Wish at Daishi Hall

Image of Daisho-in Temple's Daishi Hall, where Kobo Daishi is enshrined on Miyajima
Photo:Daisho-in Temple's Daishi Hall, where Kobo Daishi is enshrined on Miyajima

The Daishi Hall, where Kobo Daishi is enshrined, is the oldest building at Daisho-in Temple. Surrounding it are statues of the 33 guardian deities of western Japan, a statue of Kobo Daishi as a child, and Ichigan Taishi, a jizo statue.
The Ichigan Taishi statue is one of the reasons Daisho-in Temple is called a power spot. As the name suggests (一願, Ichigan, lit. "One Wish"), it is said to grant a single wish. Behind Daishi Hall, there are many daruma-themed ema (votive tablets) with wishes written on them.
Some say it's hard to notice because it's located far from Niomon Gate, the entrance to the temple grounds.
If you are traveling from far away to visit the temple, be sure to pick up a map so you can explore the temple grounds in their entirety.

Rid Yourself of Sin at the Kannon Hall

Image of stone steps and Onarimon Gate at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima
Photo:Stone steps and Onarimon Gate at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima

Kannon Hall is located on the right side of the approach to the shrine, up the stairs and through Onarimon Gate. It houses a statue of the eleven-faced Kannon (Avalokitesvara), which is the principal object of worship at Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima. It is said to have been hand-carved by the Japanese Buddhist priest Gyoki.
In the basement of Kannon Hall, there is a pitch-dark space where visitors can participate in a practice called "Kaidan Meguri," a type of meditation in the dark. In the darkness, visitors face themselves and rid themselves of their past sins through spiritual cultivation. It is said that by walking through the path in complete darkness, one will be guaranteed a peaceful life in paradise.

The Garden of Five Hundred Arhats, a Place Where Expressive Jizo Statues Are Gathered

Image of the Five Hundred Arhats Garden at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima
Photo:The Five Hundred Arhats Garden at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima

The Garden of Five Hundred Arhats is located next to the stone steps leading to Daisho-in Temple's Onarimon Gate. The many Jizo statues lined up in rows, each with a different expression of joy, anger, sorrow, or happiness, are called the "Five Hundred Arhats" and are modeled after the 500 people who gathered for a Buddhist council to reaffirm Buddha's teachings.
The sight of so many Jizo statues lined up in a row is truly remarkable, and the variety of expressions on their faces is a sight to behold. The handmade hats, made by visitors to the temple, are also warm and inviting, reminding us of the ancient connection between Buddha and the people.

Autumn Leaves and Fire Walking Ceremonies – Seasonal Events at Daisho-in Temple!

Image of autumn leaves illuminated at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima
Photo:Autumn leaves illuminated at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima

Surrounded by nature, Daisho-in Temple offers visitors the opportunity to experience the changing of the seasons. In spring, the temple is famous for its cherry blossoms, and in the fall for its autumn foliage.
During autumn, the illuminated leaves can be seen floating in the darkness, creating a magical atmosphere. The 31-year-old vice abbot of the temple is the one who planned this illumination. He devised the lighting with a photogenic image in mind, hoping to attract the younger generation to visit the temple.
Through trial and error, the vice abbot was able to create a unique fusion that blends the historic temple with the modern social networking culture. The collaboration with the temple hall is also beautiful.
Among the temple's annual events, the Daisho-in Fire Walking Ceremony is also worth seeing. The Fire Walking Ceremony is held twice a year, in spring and fall. Originally, the ceremony was derived from a secret ceremony of Shingon esoteric Buddhism. The fire is transferred from the "unquenchable sacred fire" that has been burning for 1,200 years since Kobo Daishi practiced Buddhism, and ignites the platform.
A path is made on top of the fire pillar with white smoke, and visitors walk barefoot over it while chanting their prayers. Worshippers are welcome to participate if they wish, and on the day of the fire-walking ceremony, there is a long line of people waiting in line. If you're interested in making your wish come true, why not give it a try?

Daisho-in Temple – Admission Fees, Required Time, and More!

Image of Maniden Hall at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima
Photo:Maniden Hall at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima

Admission to Daisho-in Temple is free. There is a fee for prayers, memorial services, and other experiences, so please check the official website for more information.
At Daisho-in Temple, shuin stamps of Acala are also available for collectors. Colorful kiri-e shuin stamps are also available, and limited time seasonal designs are also popular. If you're a collector, be sure to pick one up when you visit. There are also other red seals that are only available on Mt. Misen, where Daisho-in Temple is located, so we recommend that you take a look at them before visiting the temple.

Niomon Gate
Niomon Gate, the entrance to the temple grounds, is decorated with intricate carvings, and visitors are greeted by two statues of Nio (two Buddhist guardians), one on the left and one on the right. Like in a shrine, a net with a bell is hung down so that visitors can pray to each statue.

Maniden Hall
Maniden Hall is the only place in the country where a deity of oni (Japanese ogre demons) is enshrined. The three oni are believed to be incarnations of Buddha. "Mani" means a sphere that produces treasures at will, and is compared to the merits of sutras.
The stairs past Niomon Gate are lined with "mani-sha" (prayer wheels). The prayer wheels are metal cylinders on which the Heart Sutra is inscribed, and turning them once is said to have the same merit as reading a whole scroll of the sutra.

Daisho-in Temple is also home to the Hakkaku Manpuku Hall, which enshrines Miyajima's Seven Lucky Gods, and the Amida Hall, which houses a standing statue of the Amida Nyorai (the Amitabha Buddha) among other things. Daisho-in Temple is a temple with a lot to see and do, and it takes about 30 minutes to see everything the temple has to offer. To see each spot in detail, it's recommended that you set aside at least an hour.

How to Get To Daisho-in Temple

Image of the torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine
Photo:The torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine

To get to Daisho-in Temple, take a ferry from Miyajimaguchi Station on the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajima. There you'll find Miyajima Pier, and from there it's a 20 to 30 minute walk to the temple.
The temple is located next to Itsukushima Shrine and is a 5-minute walk from the exit. If you are planning to visit Miyajima, it may be easier to visit Itsukushima Shrine and then go to Daisho-in Temple.

Other Things to Do Near Daisho-in Temple

Image of the Mt. Misen Observatory at the top of Mt. Misen
Photo:The Mt. Misen Observatory at the top of Mt. Misen

Besides Daisho-in Temple and Itsukushima Shrine, there are a number of other places of interest in the area that are worth checking out. Below are two places we recommend:

Miyajima Omotesando Shopping Street
A shopping street that leads to Itsukushima Shrine, it's full of shops selling various drinks and snacks, souvenirs, and folk crafts. There are also restaurants where you can sit down for lunch and even breweries selling craft beer.

Hours: Most shops on the shopping street will close around 5:00 pm, although some shops may close earlier or later.

Mt. Misen Observatory
The Mt. Misen observatory is located at the top of Mt. Misen and offers an incredible panoramic view of the area. You can reach the top of Mt. Misen via a 20-minute ropeway ride from Momijidani Station, and from there it's about a 20-minute hike to the observatory. Alternatively, you can hike up the mountain which will take around 1.5-2 hours.
Additionally, at the top of Mt. Misen there is a temple complex with ancient temples, Buddhist statues, and spectacular views. The views are especially lovely when the leaves change colors during autumn. You can reach the temple complex via a short hike from the observatory.

Ropeway Hours: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (Final descent 4:30 pm)
Ropeway Fees: Adults (Ages 12+): 2,000 yen round trip, 1,100 yen one way. Children (Ages 6-12): 1,000 yen round trip, 550 yen one way.
※Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more.

Summary of Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima

Image of the Five Hundred Arhats Garden at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima
Photo:The Five Hundred Arhats Garden at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima

Along with Itsukushima Shrine, Daisho-in Temple is one of Miyajima's premier power spots and a tourist attraction with much to offer. If you haven't already check out the video, be sure to do so!

If you're thinking about visiting Miyajima, consider visiting in time for the autumn foliage illumination and fire-walking ceremony. They're sure to be unforgettable experiences!

【TripAdvisor】Daisho-in Temple

Written By
Last Updated : Oct. 8, 2023
Born and raised in Osaka. Housewife & writer. I love Japanese culture and traveling.
Daishoin – An Ancient Buddhist Temple on Miyajima
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