Panorama of the Week: Daisho-in Buddhist Temple — Miyajima, Japan

When you enter Heniyokutu Cave at Daisho-in Buddhist temple, pause for a moment. As your eyes adjust to the darkness, details begin to appear — prayer offerings and written wishes tied to the base of Buddhist statues, Japanese characters tracing the bottom of the lights, faint smiles on many of the icons. In the dim light, there’s a feeling of peacefulness amidst it all.

Open up the 360-degree panorama below to see for yourself.

If you visit the island of Miyajima near the city of Hiroshima, be sure to carve out several hours to spend at Daisho-in Buddhist temple. Its grounds are covered in Buddhist statues of all shapes, sizes and decor. They’re not only a photographer’s dream, but they also tell the story of the diversity of symbols in Japan’s versions of Buddhism.

Be sure to hang around long enough, as it will increase the likelihood that you’ll catch a ceremony or two along the way.

Panorama: Henjyokutsu Cave at Daisho-in Buddhist Temple — Miyajima, Japan

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Disclosure: Our Discover Japan tour was provided by G Adventures in cooperation with its Wanderers in Residence program. Some, but not all, expenses were covered. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely our own.


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  1. Sutapa says

    So pretty! There must be more than a thousand lamps there on the wall. And how many shrines, I wonder?

  2. says

    Ever since deciding we would begin our RTW trip in Japan, my husband and I have been trying to figure out an itinerary. We were initially thinking of just hitting the big 3 cities (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka), but recently decided that we wanted to seek out some of the country’s other attractions, and thought that Miyajima sounded really interesting and different. If we do wind up making it there, we will certainly have to check out this temple!

  3. says

    @Sutapa: The lamps with their shadows and light really created the ambiance to the place. Peaceful feel. We lost track counting on the number of Buddhist statues…

    @Steph: We really enjoyed the full day we spent at Miyajima. Not only are the temples (this Buddhist one + Shinto Shrine) aesthetically beautiful, but there’s a good feel to the places as the Japanese visitors were there to pray, make offerings, enjoy themselves. Also, we found Hiroshima to be one of our favorite stops along our journey. This kind of surprised us given the sad history there, but there’s an oddly optimistic and happy feel to the place. We’ll be writing more about Japan over the next weeks so perhaps some of that information might help with your planning as well.

    @Andi: It was!!

    @Marshall: The lights and design were great.

    @Ellen: We spent almost an hour in this place just gazing up at the lights and finding details on the statues.

    @Dave: Japan will be a great first stop on your RTW trip, although you may get a bit spoiled there given the efficiency and order of everything :) Keep checking back over the next few weeks a we’ll be writing more about Japan and giving some advice on favorite places.

    @Kieu: Miyajima isn’t going away, so it will still be there when you return to Japan. Given how much you guys loved the place, I’m making an assumption that you will be back one day :)

    Haven’t tried stitching the panorama from Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, but hope it all fits together well. If so, you’ll see in the next couple of weeks!

  4. says

    What a great looking spot! Eastern culture and beliefs have always fascinated me. I am sure the place felt serene and peaceful. Did you happen to add any prayers or offerings?



  5. says

    @Kristina: Too bad, it’s definitely one of the more peaceful places we’ve ever been.

    @Ryan: It was. We didn’t in this particular temple, no. But in others around Daisho-in, we did.

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