O-Torii (Grand Gate) and Stone Lantern at Dawn, Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, Honshu, Japan

O-Torii (Grand Gate) and Stone Lantern at Dawn, Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, Honshu, Japan

Another photo of the the floating O-Torii (Grand Gate) of Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社).

Miyajima is well-known as a sacred island wherein people and gods dwell together harmoniously. Since ancient times, the people living there worshipped the island itself as a god. Like any old folk tale, this belief was passed down from generation to generation until today. In the past, women were not allowed on the island and old people were shipped elsewhere to die, so that the ritual purity of the site would not be spoiled.

Miyajima is considered to be one of the 3 most scenic places in Japan (together with Amanohashidate and Matsuhima), but to my mind, Miyajima is the best place for a photographer.

The lanterns and the gate are not lit all night long, just for a while in the evening, as tourists enjoy a walk along the beach or a quiet supper in the restaurants nearby. I made this photo early in the morning so I used my small LED torch to highlight the lantern.

More images: Gallery of Miyajima Stock ImagesJapan Stock Photography.

O-Torii, Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社), Miyajima 宮島, Honshu 本州, Japan 日本国

Ilya Genkin is a Sydney, Australia photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, Australian outback and deserts, rainforests, lakes and rivers, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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  • Carsten - October 29, 2009 - 10:18 pm

    WOW! These images are very beautiful. You must have exposed for quite some time on this last one.
    I also like the composition. Even if the lantern is in the foreground, I consider the gate as the main motive.

  • Luke Austin - October 30, 2009 - 1:12 pm

    Beautiful composition Ilya and nice punchy contrast

  • Beau Mitchell - November 3, 2009 - 3:14 pm

    Love this shot, Ilya. The composition is neat and the mountains in the background are a nice backdrop.

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