Even though it's official name is Itsukushima, the island is known as Miyajima, Japanese for "shrine-island". This island is a sacred site of both Shintoism and Buddhism and in the public's mind it is close related to it's shrine, Itsukushima. The beautiful torii gate (a torii gate marks the approach and the entrance to a shrine), which at high tide seems to be floating on the water, is the symbol of the island. This is ranked as one of the best three views in Japan. The torii gate was built in 1875 and it is 16 metres tall and the roof is 24 metres long. The main pillars, which are actually trees, are 10 metres in circumference.
The origin of Miyajima dates back to when the Itsukushima-jinja Shrine was built in 593, the year Empress Suiko took the throne. But the island itself has had a long history of being an object of worship, especially its Mt. Mi-sen that rises up at the center of the island.
It is a scenic place where nature elements like the mountains and the sea blend together in harmony with the red shrine buildings, and the entire island is designated as a historic site.
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