Itsukushima Shrine is the largest shrine on Miyajima and the place most people want to see first. It dates back to the 6th century, though it was built in its present form in 1168.
The main entrance to the shrine has a large stone torii flanked by lion-dogs.
This is one of the first things that one sees when entering the shrine. It may have something to do with the fact that horses were once considered the most appropriate gift to a shrine.
At low tide one can see that the shrine is built on pier-like structures. At high tide it appears to float on the water.
The Otorii represents another entrance to the shrine. Boats enter through it during the summer festival.
Naturally everyone wants to be photographed with the Otorii in the background. The best spot is probably on the end of the pier where the boats land.
This entrance is also guarded by lion-dogs.
This happens to be an auspicious day for a wedding, and the staff hurries to make sure that the room is ready for the ceremony.
A bride and groom enter the shrine, followed by proud but nervous relatives.
A shrine this important will naturally have a display of donated barrels of sake.
A raised stage used for ceremonial dances and Noh dramas.
At low tide the Otorii sits on dry land and you can walk out to it.
A spectacular pagoda sits on a hill next to the Itsukushima Shrine.
Though this looks like a traditional Buddhist 5-story pagoda, it actually belongs to the Hokoku Shrine, commonly called the Senjokaku.
This was originally built as a Buddhist temple by Hideyoshi Toyotomi at the end of the 16th century. Because of his death, the main building was never completed and it ended up being converted into a Shinto shrine.