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Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine (Japanese: Itsukushima Jinja) is a Shinto shrine on Itsukushima Island in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Japanese government has designated several buildings and possessions as national treasures.

The shrine dates back to the 6th century, and has been in its present form since 1168 when funds were provided by the warlord Taira no Kiyomori. The shrine's construction, consisting of pier-like structures built over the bay, is due to the holy status that the island once commanded. Commoners were historically not allowed to set foot on the island, and had to approach by boat, entering through the gate that appears to float. Beside the shrine is a noh stage.

The dramatic gate (torii) of Itsukushima Shrine is one of Japan's most popular tourist attractions, and the view of the gate in front of the island's Mount Misen is classified as one of the Three Views of Japan (along with the sand bar Amanohashidate, and Matsushima Bay). The gate has existed since 1168, though the current gate dates back to 1875. The gate, built of camphor wood, is about 16 metres high and was built in a four-legged, (yotsu-ashi) style to provide additional stability.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License

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