Dating back to the 12th century and located just a short ferrry ride from Hiroshima, the Miyajima island is considered one of the "three most beautiful spots in Japan."
Taira-no-Kiyomori, a powerful ruler in this region, intended to create a Paradise here. Itsukushima Jijnja Shrine, which he began constructing in 1168, was to resemble Buddhist Pure Land.
For this very reason -- because the Buddhist Paradise is believed to exist beyond water -- the Otorii (Grand Gate) was placed in the bay, some 200 meters in front of the main hall. Commoners were not allowed to set foot on the holy island and had to approach the shrine by boat.
Although the gate is famously referred to as the "floating Otorii," it is actually surrounded by greenish mud and slime most of the time. Only when the tide is high, you can see it floating in the water.
Still, the contrast between the blue sea, the green seaweed, and the vivid vermillion lacquer of the Shrine is amazing.
Especially, when it is raining and the whole scene is enveloped in the dense fog.
There were hardly any people on that May afternoon when I arrived. . Had the island almost to myself. It was cold and I got completely wet, but I enjoyed my solitude.