When you go to Miyajima, of course you will visit Itsukushima-jinja, but keep in mind that it is far from the only thing to visit on the island, and staying one full day is a minimum I think. When we went there, we had only one afternoon to visit the island; big mistake.
So if you make the same mistake that we did and don’t have enough time to see and experience all there is to see and experience on Miyajima, make sure you at least go to Daishō-in.
It is a Shingon temple, like most of the Shikoku Pilgrimage temples, and while it’s not as famous as Itsukushima-jinja, I think it is as amazing in beautiful, albeit for completely different reasons.
Daishō-in is located on Mount Misen and was founded by Kūkai in the year 806 (it is said that a flame has been burning there ever since). It is part of another pilgrimage, the Chūgoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage.
I don’t have much more to say about it right now (I’m sure I will when I return one day), except for the fact that of all the temples I’ve been to, it’s the one that seemed the most “unreal”, I could even say mystic if I had an ounce of mysticism in me.
This part of the temple is dedicated to the Shikoku Pilgrimage, with 88 statues representing the 88 temples. (note that those two pictures are among the very few I have from inside a buddhist temple as usually it’s forbidden)
I hope those few not so great pictures made you want to visit Daishō-in. And one last advice, if you can try to be there shortly before it closes, you may see the monks starting a ceremony, always a priceless moment (one that I didn’t dare to shoot in that case)