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Miyajima, Japan

The island of Itsukushima or Miyajima lies in the Bay of Hiroshima. At it's peak is Mount Misen and  on its shore the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto shrine dating from the 12th century. In the past, entrance to the shrine would have been through a large torii the 'Floating' Torii or Great Torii Gate mounted firmly to the seabed. At high tide the gate is partially submerged and at low tide accessible via the beach. Today visitors use low tide to wedge coins among the barnacles attached to the gate, wishing for good fortune. The shrine complex consists of various temples and the 15th century 5 storey pagoda, Gojunoto. The island is home to sacred and ever hungry deer and a small population of inhabitants. Miyajima can be reached by ferry from Miyajimaguchi on the mainland in about 10 minutes. Miyajima should not be missed.