Kiyomori Shrine built upon a naturally-created breakwater
Taira-no-Kiyomori built Itsukishima Shrine whose structures even now have a grand scale. In praise of his great achievements, Kiyomori Shrine was established in his honor some 770 years after his death. The shrine is located at one end of Itsukishima Shrine at Nishi-Matsubara which was created from compacted earth and sand transported from the river. On the long-existing sandy beach, there is an avenue of pine trees and over a hundred stone lanterns which create an elegant atmosphere. Next to the shrine is a teahouse that also allows pets where you can take a break as you leisurely view the ocean.
The Miyajima Kiyomori Festival that even regular people can participate
The Miyajima Kiyomori Festival which is held in spring takes on the motif of the Taira clan’s prayer procession to Itsukishima Shrine, with the procession going from Miyajima Pier along the Omotesando Arcade and Itsukishima Shrine toward Kiyomori Shrine. One highlight is the annual selection of a notable person with links to Hiroshima to take on the role of Taira-no-Kiyomori at the head of the procession. Behind him, people taking on the roles of warriors, noblemen, shirabyoushi prostitutes and other characters walk toward the shrine dressed in the street clothes of the Heian Era. Regular people can also take part in the fancy-dress procession of everyone from children to adults which evokes the image of a Heian picture scroll. It is a truly precious experience.
Nishi-Matsubara is a viewpoint where you can get a panoramic view of Miyajima Island
Heading west from Itsukishima Shrine’s gallery exit towards Kiyomori Shrine along the coastline, you will encounter the pine trees and stone lanterns of Nishi-Matsubara. It is the rare place where you can view Itsukishima Shrine, the five-story pagoda and the grand torii gate, and it is popular as a photo spot since there are few people. The night view is even lovelier. The stone lanterns are lit up so that you can see the entire illumination against the backdrop of the coastal nightscape, so it is a place where you will want to visit when you come to Miyajima.