The island of Itsukushima, in the Seto inland sea,
has been a holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. The first
shrine buildings here were probably erected in the 6th century. The
present shrine dates from the 12th century and the harmoniously arranged
buildings reveal great artistic and technical skill. The shrine plays
on the contrasts in colour and form between mountains and sea and
illustrates the Japanese concept of scenic beauty, which combines nature
and human creativity.