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View of the floating torii gate from the shrine

Miyajima" means "shrine-island" in Japanese, referring to the island's cause of fame, Itsukushima Shrine. The shrine is known worldwide for its "floating torii gate".

The shrine and its torii gate are unique for being built over water, seemingly floating in the sea during high tide. The shrine complex consists of multiple buildings, including a prayer hall, a main hall and a noh theater stage, which are connected by boardwalks and supported by pillars above the sea


Miyajima Island has a long history as a holy site of Shinto. The island's highest peak, Mount Misen, was worshiped by local people as early as the 6th century. In 1168, Taira no Kiyomori, the most powerful man in Japan during the end of the Heian Period, selected the island as the site of his clan's family shrine and built Itsukushima Shrine.

The shrine is located in a small inlet, while the torii gate is set out in the Seto Inland Sea. Paths lead around the inlet, and visitors will enjoy walking along them while looking out onto the sea. After sunset, the shrine and the torii gate are illuminated, providing a perfect backdrop for ryokan guests to enjoy an evening walk in yukata and geta sandals. It is not possible to enter the shrine after sunset, though.

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Additional Photos by ERHAN EKEN (erhan1958) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1133 W: 152 N: 320] (14002)
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