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The Island of Miyajima is best known for the large floating tori gate in its harbor and for the Itsikushima shrine which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the buildings that make up the Itsikushima compels is the Toyokuni Shrine which has the nick name “Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats” because of its large size.
This shrine was started in 1587 and was intended to be a Buddhist library, but construction on the hall ceased when the sponsoring ruler passed away, and the hall was never completed. So even though this building is large enough to hold 1000 tatami mats, the wood floors are bare. On the autumn day I visited, a golden tree was beautifully reflected on the floors that have been polished to a bright shine over the course of 500 years by stocking feet.
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