Daiganji is a large temple located near the end of the Itsukushima Shrine worship route. Its first construction date is unknown, but there are records that it was rebuilt around the year 1200. Daiganji enshrines the god Benzaiten, a female deity who has power over the arts. Thus, it is also known as a sacred place for artistic talent and is visited by many famous entertainers and musicians. Since the god of the neighboring Itsukushima Shrine is also a woman, Daiganji has strong ties with the Itsukushima Shrine.
Moment of Joy
Daiganji houses four important cultural properties (all Buddhist statues), including the wooden Yakushi Nyorai statue, which is believed to be the oldest existing Buddhist statue on Miyajima. Next to Daiganji, there is a gomado, where people perform gomagyou (Buddhist rites of burning wood). You can get a close look at the 4-meter high Acalanātha statues made of sandalwood and an incense tree believed to be the abode of Buddha. In addition, there is a large pond in the precincts of Daiganji, where Itsukushima Ryujin, the messenger of Benzaiten, is enshrined. Near the pond are nine magnificent pine trees, said to have been planted by Ito Hirobumi, the first prime minister of Japan and a samurai at the time.