Miyajima (the "shrine island") is how the Itsukushima island in the Seto inland sea near Hiroshima is popularly known. It is part of the city of Hatsukaichi in the Hiroshima prefecture. The island and the sea around Miyajima are within Setonaikai National Park. The island is mountainous and sparsely settled. It has an elementary school and a middle school and is connected by the JR West and Miyajima Matsudai Tourist ferries to the mainland.
The whole island is a holy area: there are no delivery rooms nor cemetery on the island because giving birth or dying is not allowed on Miyajima. Trees may not be cut (and as a consequence Miyajima is covered by virgin forest) and animals may not be killed. Wild but tame deer, the messengers of the gods in Shinto religion, move around the island freely and so do monkeys on top of Misen, at 535m the island's highest mountain.
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