Monday, February 23, 2009
I'm going against the grain of the title of my blog this time as this is MOST familiar japan.
It is of course the floating torii in front of Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima, probably the second-most photographed scene in Japan after Mt. Fuji.
One of the 3 " best views of Japan", and part of a World Heritage Site, the torii is visited annually by millions.
It, and the shrine, were damaged slightly in a typhoon a few years ago and so has been repaired and is sporting a new paint job. This actual torii was constructed in 1875, and at 16 metres in height is the largest wooden torii in Japan.
Constructed of Camphor, it is a classic example of what is known as Ryoubu Shinto design, I've heard it referred to as 3-legged, and 4- legged, but to me it seems like 6-legged!
Floating torii are not unique to Miyajima. There is another famous one at the head Shirahige Shrine on Lake Biwa near Kyoto, I've seen one on the Oki Islands, and Hinomisaki Shrine near Izumo used to have one when Lafcadio Hearn visited there.