The second edition of our new weekly photo series finds us in Japan — specifically, on an island called Itsukushima, popularly known as Miyajima (Shrine Island), in the Seto Inland Sea. Miyajima, which is an easy day-trip from Hiroshima, contains a Shinto shrine, and is most famous for its “floating torii” seen here:
A torii is a ceremonial orange gate found at a shrine. What makes Miyajima’s floating torii unique is that, except at low tide, it’s partially submerged in the sea and fully surrounded by water. But at low tide you can walk right up to it.
The view seen here is regarded as one of the three most scenic vistas in Japan. It’s a particularly popular place to watch the sun set. Most tourists come only to watch that sunset (and admittedly, the sunsets behind the torii can be spectacular); they then immediately skedaddle to catch the next ferry back to the mainland. I was glad that I lingered, because I thought that the floating torii looked even better at dusk, as shown above.
The shrine complex, including the floating torii, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This photo was taken during my visit to Japan in April 2008.