The Shrine Island

During my younger days, my impression of Japan was simple –  Japan is where anime and the best video gaming consoles came from (sorry Xbox fans). But there was also one image which I could not forget – a torii gate “floating” in calm waters with the sun setting behind it. That was (at least to my younger self) the most iconic image of Japan.

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Years later I will learn that the gate I saw is the torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine (which by the way, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) located on Miyajima Island. A perfect side trip during my stay in Hiroshima.

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So there I was seeing the gate in the flesh. Part of me felt like I was meeting a childhood hero. During high tide, the gate will be in water giving the illusion that it is “floating” in the water.

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At low tide, the gate sits on the wet, somewhat muddy ground. It’s not the most glamorous sight but I really enjoyed photographing how different people interact up close with the gate.

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I call this one “walk with me”.

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Finally, the mandatory sunset shot. Yep, it’s touristy but I’m a sucker for sunsets. Unfortunately, weather conditions were not ideal so this was the best that I could get.

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Anyway, Miyajima isn’t just all about Itsukushima Shrine and its torii gate. You can take the ropeway up Mt. Misen for some spectacular views of the Seto Inland Sea.

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Informative signboard is informative.

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There are also deer everywhere on the island. They are considered sacred as they are messengers of the gods in Shinto. The deer on Miyajima seem more interested in harassing tourists for food though…

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And that’s a wrap for Miyajima! Really glad that I had the chance to visit during my time in Japan.

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