Neighboring the Five Story Pagoda on the island of Miyajima, is Senjokaku - The Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats. The hall was built in 1587 at the request of shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi wanted the hall to be a place for chanting Buddhist sutras in the hope of consoling the souls of those who had died in war. His death in 1598, however, prevented the hall from ever being completed and in 1872 it was renamed Hokoku Shrine in his honor. The hall is one of the larger buildings on Miyajima and is just a short walk from the Itsukushima Shrine. Artworks are affixed the beams in the ceiling rest which give the hall a feel similar to that of a gallery. There's is a lot to see and take in, so take your time and enjoy piecing together the story behind Senjokaku.
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My first encounter with Japan was in June 2013, when I spent a month in Tokyo/Hiroshima interning for Japan Airlines. I knew from the moment that I set foot in this mesmerising country that one month would not nearly be enough time to enjoy what Japan has to offer. So here I am back in Japan, this time living and working in Sapporo City and brimming with excitement about the adventures that await around the corner!