Itsukushima Shrine / A shrine to the Shinto god seemingly built on water on Shrine Island in Hiroshima

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The Itsukushima Shrine is on the Miyajima Island

Source of an Island's Name

The Itsukushima Shrine is the reason for the name of the island that houses it. Formerly known as Itsukushima, the island is now known as Miyajima, meaning "Shrine Island" in Japanese. Responsible for not only the name of the island, but also its fame, the shrine is a popular shrine of Shinto, god and protector of people from sea disasters and war. The island is known by more people than who realizes they know the island. This is by its entry from the sea.

Considred one of the most picturesque places in Japan

The shrine is designed around and to incorporate the water of the inlet where the shrine is located. Aspects of the shrine are much more impressive during high tide. At this point, many pieces appear to be floating on the water. All of the buildings are built above the water and are connected by boardwalks. The most interesting part of the shrine is the torii gate, the large gate that signifies a shrine. This image is known worldwide, although most people do not know from where this image comes. It is good to plan a visit to the shrine around high tide. If visited at low tide, visitors can walk out to look at the torii gate up close and personal. At night, the shrine can be seen from may cruise ships and is lit up to give a brillliant display.

Rich, controversial history

Itsukushima Shrine is known to have been built by Taira no Kiyomori to be his clan's shrine. The highest peak on the island was worshiped by people in the early 6th century. The original builing of the shrine is what is still what is under scrutinity. It is beilieved to haver originally been built in 593 by an unknown person or group of people. It became the scarlet colored wonder that it is now when the warlord Taira rebuilt it for his clan.

Access/ How to go to Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima shrine is accessable from the pier of the Miyahima ferry. From this point, it is a 10 minute walk along the coast. It is also accessible from Hiroshima by train or boat, and this is where the ferry can be caught. All of these methods are less than an hour in travel.

DATA

■Hours: 6:30~ 18:00 (depending on season)■Access: 1-1 Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima■Tell: 082-944-2020■URL: http://www.miyajima-wch.jp/en/itsukushima1.htm

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