Thursday, September 25, 2014

Miyajima: Senjokaku

On a small hill overlooking the Itsukushima Shrine is the Hokoku Shrine. The Shrine is well known as Senjokaku, which means "Pavilion of 1000 mats", a reference to the spaciousness of the building. It is also referred to as the Toyokuni Shrine.
Construction of the hall began in 1587, under Toyotomi Hideyoshi's rule. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was one of the three persons credited with unifying Japan. When he died in 1598, the hall was still under construction and was never completed. The reason could be that Tokugawa Ieyasu gained control instead of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's heirs. 
The Senjokaku is Miyajima's biggest building. The building just has a spacious hall, the size of 1000 tatami mats (857 mats to be precise). 

The hall has neither a ceiling nor a main entrance. 
In 1872, the hall was dedicated to the soul of the founder Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who had intended the hall to be used for chanting Buddhist Sutras.

Adjacent to the Senjokaku is a 5 story pagoda - Goju No To. This vermilion colored pagoda is over 27 metres high and was built in 1407. 
Visitors can enjoy a  good view of the Itsukushima Shrine and the surrounding area from near the Senjokaku. 
Opening Hours : 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Closing days: Open 365 days

Admission: 100 yen. 

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