JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.56

~Scenery of Japan~ Itsukushima Shrine

Yakushima Island

Itsukushima Shrine, located on the island of Miyajima in the Seto Inland Sea, has been a holy place of Shintoism since early times. The first shrine buildings here are believed to have been erected in the 6th century. The present shrine dates from the 12th century and was registered as a world heritage in 1996. The harmoniously arranged buildings reveal great artistic quality and technical skill. The shrine plays on the contrasts in color and form between mountains and sea, illustrating the Japanese concept of scenic beauty, the combination of nature and human creativity.

The Miyajima power triathlon is an international competition, famous for its beautiful racing course. Starting from the foot of Itsukushima Shrine, the athletes swim across the Seto Inland Sea toward the shore, and then sprint through bushy country roads by bike. To make sure that the participants follow the original racing course, the GSDF 13th Brigade guide them by utilizing its communication equipment in a no-reception area. They also stand by at the first-aid station in case of a medical relief and emergency transportation. The road approaching the finish line is full of warm cheering by locals, volunteers, along with the GSDF staff.

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