Miyajima Island

Our trip today was to Miyajima Island which is one of the most photographed locations in Japan. We took a ferry to the island traveling through Hiroshima Bay. Our first view of the Tori gate was from the water.

Itsukushima Shrine

The largest structure on the island is the Itsukushima Shrine; it was originally built in 593 AD and remodeled to its present structure in 1168 AD. It has 20 structures joined together by wood walkways.

All the posts and rafters are painted this beautiful vermilion color as is the Tori gate.

The entire structure is built over the water at high tide. We were there at medium to low tide so we saw the piers at the ground level.

This shrine is used for public exhibitions of dances, rituals, ceremonies and dramas as it was when we were there.


Daisho-in Temple

Up on the hillside above the Itsukushima Shrine is a group of buildings and stairways called the Daisho-in Temple. They were built in the 12th century. There are many beautiful Japanese gardens around these buildings as well as views to Hiroshima Bay.

On the steps leading up to the temple there are hundreds of stone images along the stairs with colorful knitted hats. These are called Jizo images.

One of the traditions the Buddhists have is to wash their hands before they go into the temple so there are many wash basins around and they have become part of the Japanese garden. Here are a few that I found on Miyajima Island:


Diaganji Temple and Tahoto Pagoda

The view from the temple to the hills almost seems like fall foliage. Many of the Japanese Maples have new growth in the spring that is orange to copper colored.

As we leave the island the tide is low and the Tori gate is out of the water. The deer are still hungry and the students are coming to the island on a field trip.

Hiroshima Orizuru Tower

We took a speed boat back to Hiroshima and went to the top or the Orizuru Tower to make a Peace Crane.

We threw the cranes off the building inside the glass and watched them fly down.


At the top of the Orizuru Tower is a beautiful view of Hiroshima.


Shukkeien Gardens

The Shukkeien Garden is a circular tour garden built in 1620. It allows the viewers to walk all around the miniaturization of a natural landscape including mountains, valleys, bridges, islands and a tea cottage.

The garden is in the middle of Hiroshima and was completely destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945 so everything here is less than 73 years old.

The Azaleas are starting to bloom now as well as other flowers.

Double Cherry



We leave Japan with many beautiful memories of the people and the gardens. We thank our tour guide, Jay, for his organization, cheerfulness and knowledge.

Note: This blog will now be published about once per month about plants at Dawn Gardens in Grass Valley until my next trip of June, 2020.

The next open garden will be Mother’s Day weekend – Saturday May 11, 9-5 and Sunday May 12, 12-5.

The address is: 14446 Perimeter Rd., Grass Valley, CA

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