Dominating the hill above Itsukushima Shrine is this huge pavilion built in 1587 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the colourful, five-storey pagoda.
Toyokuni Shrine (also known as Senjō-kaku, meaning ‘pavillion of the thousand tamarini mats’) is a library of Buddhist sutras that Hideyoshi-Toyotomi started to build in 1587, in the Irimoya style, for the repose of the war dead.
The building had not yet been completed when Hideyoshi died in 1598 and therefore parts of the building, such as the board ceiling and front entrance, remain unfinished. The atmospheric hall, which is the size of approximately 1,000 tamarini mats, is constructed with massive pillars and beams and the ceiling is hung with paintings.
The five-story pagoda, which is 28 metres tall, is said to have been built in 1407. This splendid structure harmoniously combines Japanese and Chinese architectural styles and the image of Buddha is painted on a wall inside the pagoda.
Toyokuni Shrine and the pagoda are located approximately ten minutes on foot from the pier.
- DK Eyewitness Travel – Japan
- Lonely Planet – Japan
- Miyajima Tourist Association information leaflet