Peek of a Fantasy World

A peek of the torii gate at Miyajima Island.

Miyajima: Sacred Island

The island is popularly known as Miyajima[1], but the real name is Itsukushima[2], which you may be familiar with—it’s the same name as the shrine. Until recent times, commoners weren’t allowed on this island. It was considered something of a holy place back in the day. Even after people started living on it, they were forbidden to till the ground, to give birth or die on the island. To this day there are no hospitals or cemeteries on the island.

You probably recognize the torii gate you see. It is sometimes called the Ootorii (which simply means big torii) or the Miyajima Torii. It is one of the symbols of Japan. At high tide, the gate appears to be floating on the water, a very cool effect.

Unfortunately, the tide was going out when I visited—if you look closely you can see most of the water is already gone. The next time I visit, I am going to be sure to consult whatever charts I need to look at to make sure I time my trip for a high-tide day.

The torii much larger than it looks in this photo. Big enough that at high tide, incoming boats sail through it.

Daily Photo: Peek of a fantasy world

The middle of the shot is blurry on purpose. I wanted to make it seem like you are peeking through the hole in the wall at something secret, some kind of mythical, dream-like land; something too far to see clearly but magical enough that you keep looking.

The Ootorii gate of Miyajima
The Ootorii gate of Miyajima


  1. me-yah-G-mah  ↩

  2. EE-tsu-kue-she-mah  ↩

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6 Responses to Peek of a Fantasy World

  1. Jon L Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 1:14 am #

    Haha success. I was the first one to Digg it.

  2. Junpei Hayakawa Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 1:15 am #

    I love this.

  3. Steve Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 6:47 am #

    Interesting shot, I do think it works really well!

  4. David LaSpina / JapanDave Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 6:50 am #

    Hehe thanks! I didn’t see you did, so I submitted it too… Oh well. But you win this round!

  5. David LaSpina / JapanDave Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 6:51 am #

    Thanks! ^^

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