Itsukushima Shrine is built out over the water, as a spiritual threshold that separates the sacred island from the profane outer world. With its large torii gate standing nearby in the sea, it forms the iconic image of Miyajima.
The shrine itself was first built in the 6th Century, and took its present form in the 12th Century, though typhoons have caused periodic reconstruction over the years – most recently in 2004.
The shrine’s buildings are best visited at high tide, when the water sweeps in below and the whole complex appears to float on the waves. At low tide you can explore the structures from below.