Miyajima Island (Officially known as Itsukushima) is a beautiful and magical place. Miyajima itself translates to shrine island and to the local people it is seen as the island of the gods.
To get to Miyajima you have to take a short ferry ride from Hiroshima and cross the sea. For a short moment in time it feels like you are leaving civilization and traveling to a place of history and legends. Arriving at the local port, you are suddenly greeted by many deer. These deer are also known as the messengers of the gods and are very friendly to people. So friendly that they sometimes invade the local shops in order to get a free meal.
However, on the peak of a small hill you will notice a small two story pagoda. Finding the path up the hill is not easy. Hidden beside a building are small worn down steps. These ancient meandering steps will take you up to the top of the hill and onto Tahoto Pagoda. You might find yourself out of breath when you see this beautiful scene which takes your breath away.
During the spring when the sakura are blooming, Tahoto Pagoda looks picturesque. It feels like you can sit there peacefully all day and enjoy the view with a cup of tea.
A little History of Tahoto
Tahoto has been around for a long time. It is believed that the pagoda was built around 1523 by the priest Shukan. Initially the Buddha of Medicine was worship there until it was later moved during the Meji. The pagoda was later renamed to Hozan Shrine in 1880.
What is interesting about this pagoda is that it has a square base and a round second level. The architecture shows influence of Japanese, Indian and Chinese cultures.
What is your favorite place in Japan?