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O-Torii gate, Miyajima Island

The beautiful O-Torii gate, standing in the sea and leading to the Itsukushima shrine, is the symbol of Miyajima Island (literally, the shrine island). The present O-Torii, the eighth that was constructed since the Heian period (794-1192), was built in 1875 with the wood of camphor trees. It is 16 metres tall, the roof is 24 metres long, and the main pillars, made from single trees, are 10 metres in circumference. The O-Torii stands on its own support, having no part buried in the ground.

 

During the mid-July Kangensai music festival, colorfully decorated boats are sailed through the giant gate while dancers aboard the boats perform classical sacred dances. (Info from this site).

 

Miyajima Island is also home to some very friendly deer which freely roam about eating whatever they can, and posing for official Japanese tourist group photos.

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Taken in February 2006