Miyajima Island is less than an hour from Hiroshima and famous for its giant torii gate, which at high tide seems to float on the water. The sight is ranked as one of Japan’s three best views and the most accessible.
Miyajima Island is regarded as an Island of Gods on the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. It houses the Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site, along with the Virgin Forest of Mt. Misen, and numerous preserved shrines, temples and historical monuments. Also wild deer roam freely around the island sites and are very accustomed to people.
While officially named Itsukushima, the island is more commonly referred to as Miyajima, Japanese for “shrine island”.
I absolutely loved this place and it was a great start to my Japan trip. From Hiroshima near Peace Park Atomic Dome i boarded an Electric Tram (route 2) and purchased a day pass which included the Ferry trip to Miyajima Island. At the end of the line I found two different wharf’s operated by different companies being Matsudai ferry which is included on the tram day pass where as JR ferry wasn’t included. The ferry services are frequent and it’s only a 10 to 15 min trip. Once on the Island I encountered many deer, Japanese School Students and Tourists. There is an array of small food and souvenir stalls. As you wander around the Island the colours are vibrant with paths leading to temples and shrines that adorn the landscape.
I decided to walk the the top of Mt Misen whilst a friend elected to catch the Ropeway (Gondola). As I raced up the mountain in an insane attempt to beat my friend to the top I found myself quickly running out of steam. This is steep and unfortunately I wasn’t dressed or nor did I have any water but perseverance got to the top. The signage was excellent and distance markers existed every 200m which was of some encouragement.
Once at the top I was soaking in sweat, hot and well exhausted whilst my friend looked cool and relaxed having a coffee in the cafe. Thankfully the lady running the cafe offered me some water which was well received and after a little time recovering i managed to convince my friend to walk down the Mountain and took in some of the beauty of the trail.
- Hiroshima Navigator http://www.hiroshima-navi.or.jp/en/
- Miyajima Matsudai Kisen tourist ship http://miyajima-matsudai.co.jp/english/
- Miyajima Ropeway http://miyajima-ropeway.info/en/