Itsukushima Shrine - Shinto Shrine, Island of Miyajima, Japan

itsukushima shrine - shinto shrine - o torii
itsukushima shrine - shinto shrine - o torii
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Itsukutshima shrine

 

Located on the island of Miyajima, which literally means “shrine island” in Niponggo (the Japanese native language), the Itsukushima Shrine is famous globally for its torii gate (a traditional Japanese leading into a Shinto shrine) which seems to float on water.

What is most unique about the shrine is the fact that its torii gate was built over water, giving it the illusion when the tide is high of floating on water. The complex of the shrine is made up of several buildings, including a main hall, a prayer hall, and a Noh theater stage, all of which are connected by boardwalks to each other. All of these structures are supported by columns above the water.

The Island of Miyajima’s history as a Shinto holy site goes way back. Mount Misen, Miyajima’s highest peak, was a focus for worship by locals as far back as the sixth century. The most powerful warlord at the tail end of Japan’s Heian Period, Taira no Kiyomori, built the Itsukushima Shrine in 1168 as a shrine for his family and clan.

The Itsukushima Shrine is situated within a small inlet, while its torii gate was placed way out in the Inland Sea of Seto. Paths were built leading around the inlet making it easy for visitors to enjoy a walk along with a beautiful Japanese Girl as you look out onto the sea.