Miyajima, one of the three most beautiful japanese views, is among the most popular tourist destinations in Japon. However, I feel that many travelers focus on its two most visited spots: Itskushima shrine with its famous torii, and the ascent of Mount Misen. Even if they're essential, these spots are not only a testimony of the short time spent by visitors to Miyajima (often a short day, probably due to the high price of hotels on the island) but also somehow block other very interesting spots.
That's why I wanted to give a spotlight to Daisho-in, a Buddhist temple of inimitable charm located at the base of Mount Misen, just a few minutes walk from shopping arcades and Itsukushima. The creation of this temple dates back to a little more than 1,200 years, at the initiative of philosopher and religious poet Kobo-Daishi (Kukai).
Beyond its gleaming stairs and its majestic buildings, Daishôin is all scattered with Buddhist figures. Here, the three wise monkeys hide behind a bush. There, Buddha babies stroll in the grass, surrounded by momiji maple leaves. And lower, five hundred Buddhist statues accompany your visit on one side and the other of a long staircase.
I'd definitely recommend visiting Daisho-in during your visit to Miyajima. Upon leaving, you'll have to choose either to continue hiking an hour and a half to the summit of Mount Misen, or leave towards Momijidani park and then back to the shops.
How to get to Daisho-in
A 5-minute walk south / southwest from Itsukushima Shrine
Location reachable with the JRP : order your Japan Rail Pass (from ~US$ 271)
Open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How long / when to visit
Allow about an hour on site