1 Fuji-san (Mount Fuji)
7 Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto
9 Todaiji Temple, Nara
10 Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo
Miyajima (Shrine Island), just off the coast of Honshu, is famous for its many holy sites, above all Itsukushima Shrine with its 'floating' torii gate.
Miyajima, easily reachable from Hiroshima, was originally named after its famous Itsukushima Shinto shrine, which dates back to the 6th century. Now the entire island has been dedicated as a shrine and is considered one of Japan's 'three famous views'.Since the island was considered holy, ordinary mortals were not permitted to set foot on it, but had to visit the shrine by boat, entering through the floating wooden torii gate in the bay. The present-day version was built in 1875 in traditional Japanese style, painted red and rooted in the mudflats; it is best seen at high tide, when it seems to float above the water. It looks especially spectacular at night if the lamps in the gate gallery are lit. To the north of the shrine is the Senjokaku Hall. Built in 1587, it is a massive timber construction decorated with paintings, and conveys a wonderful atmosphere of grandeur. Its name means 'Pavilion of 1,000 Mats'. Elsewhere on the island there are a number of other temples, museums and walks to enjoy. The Miyajima Museum of History and Folklore is in a 19th-century merchant's house, with a charming garden, whilst the Daisho-in Temple, to the south of the town, is an interesting jumble of pavilions, gardens and pools. The walk up Mount Misen (530m) in the centre of the island is worth undertaking for its views. Cable-cars can take you a large part of the way, leaving just a short stroll to the summit.
Address: 15km south of Hiroshima
Open: Itsukushima Shrine: daily 6:30 to sunset
Train: Hiroshima to Miyajima-guchi (25mins)
Boat: Regular service from Hiroshima Ujina port and from mainland ferry terminal at Miyajima-guchi. Information from ferry building Phone: (0829) 944 2011