Miyajima ("shrine island") is how the Itsukushima island in the Seto inland sea near Hiroshima is popularly known. 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, the island's highest mountain.
Itsukushima is known for the Itsukushima Shinto shrine, a popular and photogenic UNESCO World Heritage site with the famous red Torii gate in the sea. The first shrine buildings were probably erected in the 6th century while the present structures date from the 12th century. In 1555 the warrior-courtier Taira no Kiyomori gave the shrine its present form.
01 Torii gate 02 Torii gate 03 Torii gate 04 Torii gate 05 Torii gate
06 Torii gate 07 Torii gate 08 Torii gate 09 Torii gate
10 Torii gate 11 Torii gate 12 Torii gate at sunset panoramic view
13 Torii gate at sunset 14 Torii gate at sunset panoramic view 15 Torii gate at sunset 16 Torii gate at sunset
17 Torii gate at sunset 18 Torii gate at sunset panoramic view 19 Torii gate at sunset 20 Torii gate at sunset
21 Torii gate at sunset 22 Torii gate at sunset 23 Torii gate at sunset 01 View of torii of Itsukushima shrine 02 View of torii of Itsukushima shrine
03 Panoramic view of the Itsukushima shrine
04 Panoramic view of the Itsukushima shrine
05 Front view of Itsukushima shrine
06 Panoramic view of the Itsukushima shrine 07 Five-storied Gojunoto red pagoda 08 Lantern and five-storied pagoda
09 Shrine and five-storied pagoda 10 Senjokaku pavilion 11 Five-storied Gojunoto red pagoda 12 Five-storied Gojunoto red pagoda 13 Main entrance to shrine
14 Pier and shrine buildings on stilts 15 Pier and shrine buildings 16 Bronze lion statue 17 Corridor lined with red wooden pillars
18 Marodoharaiden purification hall 01 Miyajimaguchi dancer statue 02 Ferry to Miyajima
03 Panoramic view of Itsukushima island 04 View of island and shrine
05 Pedestrian area in front of ferry terminal 06 Pedestrian area in front of ferry terminal 07 Wild tame deer 08 Wild tame deer 09 Wild tame deer
10 Tree lined path to shrine 11 Tree lined path to shrine 12 Miyajima city 13 Miyajima city and ferry terminal
14 Miyajima city and ferry terminal 15 Sunset view of bay 16 Sunset view of bay 17 Miyajima bay after sunset
18 Street with shops at night 19 Street with shops at night 20 Souvenir shops at night 21 Souvenir shops at night
22 Grilled oysters 23 Cookies and sweets shop at night 24 Torii gate and Mount Misen
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©Copyright Alfred Molon