Daihonzan Daisho-in

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Miyajima's Oldest Japanese Temple

Tripadvisor Ranking 17
Miyajima's Oldest Japanese Temple

Daisho-in is a historic Japanese temple complex located closely to the famous Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island. Considered the oldest temple in Miyajima, Daisho-in is the 14th temple in the Chugoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimate and is famous for the autumn maple trees color. The former military general Hideyoshi Toyotomi (famous for the unification of Japan) often held tea ceremonies at this scenic temple during the fall to appreciate the scenic koyo autumn leaves. The temple is said to have a flame which has burned since the temple was founded in 806 A.D (over 1200 years ago), known as the Kiezu no hi or keep the fire.

While exploring the temple grounds, people can experience the Kaidan-meguri pathway. Tourists and travelers walk through a staircase in complete darkness while using the side walls to navigate themselves forward. Upon the exit, guests can see a Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) statue. While walking through the darkness is a bit daunting, it's considered mental training at the Japanese temple. When people reach the exit, they're greeted by the warmth of the sun to remind them the of the joys of daily life.

Temple filled with Buddhist Statues

Temple filled with Buddhist Statues

The Temple was founded by the monk Kukai, also known as Kobo-Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism. The temple was the former administrator of the Itsukushima shrine before the Meiji Restoration split Shinto and Buddhism in 1868. Nowadays, most of the temple visitors pray for the saftey of their family and good business. The temple ground houses hundreds of Buddhist Jizo statues along the paths. There are a wide variety of Jizo statues along the temple grounds, including the One-Gun Daishi. It's believed the Jizo help bring about the safety for travelers and children, and praying to the Jizo can make one of your prayers come true. The Jizo statues have a variety of faces, such as laughing, crying, or expressing anger. Many who pay respects to the temple comment on the sense of Arhat they feel as they walk past the numerous Jizo statues.

The temple is often considered an ideal spot to visit in Autumn, when the red and orange leaves fall next to the statues. Add Daisho-in to your vacation with Japan Deluxe Tours after a fully guided tour package in Hiroshima. Ask your travel agent about our affordable line of custom private vacation options for a scenic fall holiday through Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Daisho-in.

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