Many people are familiar with the big red torii standing in the sea on Miyajima, but Lake Biwa also has a "floating" torii. It is located on the western side of Lake Biwa, at Shirahige Shrine near Takashima. Although it is much smaller than its Miyajima counterpart, it creates a beautiful view set against the constantly changing moods of the lake. The shrine is considered to be a good place to pray for longevity, matchmaking, having a baby, better luck and prosperous business. Perhaps the name is a reference to longevity, because shirahige means "white beard".
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I fell in love with Japan long before I came here in 2003 to teach English, and it has proved to be a lasting romance. I love the history, the traditional architecture, the food, the strange and sometimes ridiculous contrasts, and the beautiful countryside. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and in Kyoto for nine years, and now I live in Machida in Tokyo. I've traveled a little in Japan, but not nearly as much as I'd like to. I like traveling by train, but my favorite way to travel is bicycle.