Itsukushima Shrine is on the island of Itsukushima (popularly known as Miyajima) in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Because the island itself has been considered sacred, in order to maintain its purity commoners were not allowed to set foot on Miyajima through much of its history. In order to allow pilgrims to approach, the shrine was built like a pier over the water, so that it appeared to float, separate from the land, and therefore existed in a liminal state between the sacred and the profane. The shrine’s signature red entrance gate, or torii, was built over the water for much the same reason. Commoners had to steer their boats through the torii before approaching the shrine.
Miyajima is a small island less than an hour outside the city of Hiroshima. Miyajima is one of the crown jewels of Japan, and certainly one of its finest views. Ranked #13 of 29 things to do in Hiroshima by Lonely Planet travellers. best time to go is in the Fall.