For most people visiting Japan the trip to Miyajima and the floating Itsukushima shrine gate (O-Torii) are highlights of their holidays in Japan.
There is no a lot notifications about it, but this is the view you will see when you’ll arrive to Miyajima island during these days.
On official Miyajima island website there is null information about this. At least on English version of website. But there are some pictures on their Facebook page. So follow them to see the latest updates.
Unfortunately this gate is on reconstruction from June 2019. It is expected to be reopen again just during Tokyo Summer Olympic games in August, 2020.
Of course you still can go to Miyajima island, as there many other things to do besides this gate. I just wanted to protect you from some disappointment.
Fortunately there are some alternatives if you still want to see floating gates.
1. Jinja shrine gate, Hakone
This gate probably is most accessible as most tourists are visiting Hakone anyway.
It is just in front of Jinja shrine on the lake shore in Hakone so there is no need for more detailed directions.
2. Shirahige Shrine gate, Lake Biwa
Another nice gate is located on the shore of Lake Biwa.
This shrine is located about 30 minutes walk from Omi-Takashima train station.
How to get to Omi-Takashima
It takes about 40 minutes to get to Omi-Takashima station from Kyoto and then about 30 minutes (3km / 2 miles) walk to the shrine from station.
This is screenshot from hyperdia site where you can check trains scheduler. Enter OmiTakashima (without hyphen) while entering name at hyperdia site.
3. Oouo Shrine gates
This shrine is away from most popular tourist routes. But it will be on your way if you are visiting Kyushiu island and especially Nagasaki.
Oouo Shrine gates’ located in the sea (Ariake sea). This is main difference from Jinja shrine and Shirahige Shrine gates which are located in the lakes. Oouo Shrine gates look different during low and high tide.
How to get to Oouo Shrine
You can drive or take a train to Tara. It is about 800 meters or 10 minutes walk from Tara train station.
It takes about 1 hour by train from Saga to Tara.
4. Sakurai Shrine Gate
This shrine is famous because of “couple rock” located in sea close to shore. Rocks (Meotoiwa) are tied with shimenawa rope and form a symbol of happy marriage.
The beach (Futamigaura Beach) is also one of Top 100 sunset beaches in Japan.
This gate is located in the West not far from Fukuoka, but it is not so easy accessible by public transport.
This gate is the only I haven’t visited yet so I can’t confirm information I found about public transport. Here route examples I found:
- take Showa Bus/Nishi-no-ura Line and disembark at ”Nishi-no-ura (Futamigaura Iriguchi)” and walk 23 minutes
- take Showa Bus/ Nokita Line, disembark at ”Imuta” and walk 30 minutes
- Take at train to JR Chikuzen Maehara Station, then take a Showa bus (No Kita Line) to “Iishida” bus stop and 30 minutes walk from the bus stop
Please comment bellow I you took any of these routes and succesfuly reached Futamigaura Beach.
I hope these recommendations will help you to enjoy your holidays in Japan. Please let me know if you find any other floating gates. I could include it into my list.