Miyajima Island, a sacred place for Buddhists  

Posted by ainul ilyani in

Gembaku Domu is not the only reason why people all over the world come to Japan since it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. One of the sites listed in the World heritage is Miyajima Island. Miyajima is not an ordinary island as its uniquely scenic view never resembles any island on earth; furthermore, the island constitutes the most famous temple in Japan. Therefore, some people regard it as a "temple island" due to the large number of temples around the island. The sight in Miyajima made it rank as one of Japan’s three best views! My husband seemed not to talk much about the place we would be going to. Perhaps he wished to let me witness the panorama on my own and come up with my own perspective without being influenced by his outlook.

By the time we arrived at ferry station for the cross-channel ferry service, I was too thrilled, extremely agitated and very excited that my heartbeat vibrated vigorously. We spent a few minutes to find an ideal location to park our car, the car which had brought us to a lot of new places of interest. Pity that car! I had to leave her for a while because we must cross over the deep-sea by taking a ferry! The weather was so hot since it was the beginning of autumn, the heat was like penetrating deep into my skin layers and burning inside, much different to the hot weather in Malaysia. My husband got a cap to protect her face; I had none so he bought me a cheap umbrella to keep my mouth shut from complaining all the whole length of our crossing. I was such a wet blanket, I knew. I kept silent then. As there was a horde of people crammed at one place, we had to insert ourselves between the crowds to line up in a long queue just for two tickets!

We finally got in the air-conditioned ferry, rested on the cozy stool just for a few moments as my husband was too raring to stand outside so that we could breathe and smell the air of island not so far away. I kept his mouth shut while trailing his steps to walk off via the ferry access. He chose a strategic space for us. We both stood on our foot at the edge of ferry to enjoy nice view with our arms cuddling each other. We stood still in silence, my cheeks brushing his, the warmth of his hand caressed my waist and Yeah! Feast our eyes on the panoramic scenery. Oh man! Wonderful! Does it sound romantic? Ah-Ha.

In the ferry on the way to Miyajima Island.

As the ferry sailed across the island, we could detect a giant shrine from distance and most passengers became rather impressed, they turned their head over the shrine. It is called O-Tori (The Grande shrine gate). It looked like floating in the water because of the not-so-high tide. That was the biggest shrine I have ever seen in my life! It was a mark that we were about getting there in minutes. The shrines was too huge, stayed stump in garish red that a bull might butt it and die in instant, its red was so bright and flared up just like my emotion gazing at the torii (gate). The island must have becoming so famous because of the shrine which is the symbol of Miyajima Island. The red shrine straddles the bay and leads to the hefty temple gate at the mouth of the same bay. According to their belief, the main building was built over water to avoid offending from God and it consists of many subsidiary shrines and buildings all linked by large corridors and galleries. The island just as clean as a whistle.

The famous 16m tall O-torii has been reconstructed 17 times.

Istukushima- Jinjya shrine

As we disembarked from the ferry, we were greeted by a large number of deer along the way. We were a bit staggered at first but then started to realize that the island is actually dwelt by tame deer. If deer are able to understand humans’ languages, I may have taught them to stop seizing and grabbing any food that people are gripping in hands! It is believed that the Miyajima deer have lived on the Miyajima Island for 6000 years. Based on their belief, deer is a messenger of the gods in Shinto (Japanese native religion). They are very well treated by people meaning that nobody should be scared to stroke them. I saw one of the deer snatched a piece of yellow paper from a man and everybody burst into laughter watching the scene. They ate everything seemed delicious in their eyes. I had got the munchies when our tummy began producing a familiar rhythm, I could catch on the sound, and yes! It told me “ La-la-la, you must give me something to eat, la-la-la, I am craving now, la-la-la”! . The sound was so irritating and distracting, forced us to search for a perfect area to have our meal. We stopped over the empty side along the embankment, then we crossed our legs and let them dangling merrily while feeding a mouthful of fried rice. We were absorbed in our eats, in all of sudden, a deer appeared sniveling. Promtply, we hid our food in a plastic bag and on the verge of running a mile, my ticket fell out of my sling bag, she gripped the ticket using his jaws, and munched and gobbled it as if it was so yummy like Dunkin Donuts! I yelled our loud,

“Hey! Oh my God, Abang, she’s eating my ticket!” My husband replied,

“Just let it be, it’s her luck!”

My husband chortled; I just looked daggers at the deer and chuckled. Phew! Thank God the ticket had been used beforehand as a by-pass to get access to primary temple, so I didn’t need it. I still coveted it for a sentimental-value purpose though!

A group of tame deer.

The deer looks so calm .

We paced through the walkways of the primary temple and cut through a group of visitors whom accent showed they came from China. We found countless glistening coins slipped everywhere in between plywoods of the temple’s wall that might come from those who made wishes. As a Muslim, we don’t have to do that, we can just pray at anywhere at any time without donating a penny to our God. If we fancy to do so, we can donate the pennies to poor people or people in need. It was such an eye-opener that different religion has different way of praying, yet we must respect the differences. Actually, Miyajima has been attacked by an incredible typhoon, so renovation has been made to make it operate like now.

We climbed up a long steep stair to reach five storied Pagoda. We popped in the Pagoda, when we craned our neck to look up the ceiling, we found an artistic carvings. The carving was so imposing and delicate which portrayed the story or the legend of something, I didn’t have the clue. We accidentally met a group of male Arabian who kept staring at me, perhaps, I was the only woman in the island with a hijab on my head and legged the temple with my husband’s hands curling around my waist. Maybe it seemed quite rare. One of them looked friendly when he threw a sincere smile at us, we were about to say Salam but too shy to start first. Nonetheless, I hoped the smile spoke out the salam.

Hokoku-Jinjya Shrine


In order to buy some souvenirs, we had a poke around the row of shops there. We took a stroll along one of the island’s charming walking path through walking trails which surrounded with seaside town areas, the path cut through the island’s forest and offers beautiful views on the town. Suddenly we realized we lost our tripod case, we had a toing and froing all over, unfortunately, we didn’t stumble on it.

A docile deer blocks the walking trails

As luck would have it, when the tide became low, slowly ebbed away, we had our eye on the white wet sands lay therein. We crept around on tiptoe; finally we got an eyeful of the shrine and snapped some pictures! I could not believe I had touched the shrine with my own hands. We got an opportunity to glimpse the shrine closely. We performed our Jama’ takhir zuhur and Asar at nearby temple, somewhere hidden from public, not inside of the temple, where else should we go then!

A few last shots while the sea ebbed away as the dusk was coming

We went back home in the dark of night, worn-out, fit to drop and we slept like a log. The day after, we suffered from feet ache!

This entry was posted on 20.12.09 at Sunday, December 20, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


both of you have similar faces, tee hee ;)

ya know, org ganu says, 'ada meh'

December 23, 2009 at 9:18 PM

Yeah, we knew! so many people said so, u r not the first one saying this, you might be the hundreds ;P..

December 31, 2009 at 9:33 AM

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