The name Itsukushima literally means 'island of worship' and from ancient times the island itself was worshipped as a god. The mystical Itsukushima Shrine built on the water was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1996. A place where people have long carried out ancient rites, Itsukushima Shrine has become world renowned, attracting visitors from all over Japan and the rest of the world.
It was originally built in 593CE by Saeki no Kumamoto. Later, Taira no Kiyomori became heavily involved with the shrine. It is said he erected this shrine on top of the water after becoming the first samurai to assume the role of the Daijō-Daijin (the head of the imperial government). In 1571, it is said the Mōri clan renovated the main hall and reconstructed the large torii gate and arched bridge.