A day journey to Miyajima Island is a must-do whereas in Hiroshima. It’s one in all Japans prime 3 scenic spots, simple to get to and there’s a lot to see and do right here
In the event you’re staying in Hiroshima then we’d advocate spending a full day on Miyajima Island. In case your time is extra restricted it’s additionally potential to do it as an extended day journey from cities like Kyoto, Osaka or Kobe particularly should you’re utilizing the JR Move.
The bullet practice, native practice and ferry are all run by Japan Rail and are included within the cross making it cost-effective and simple to coordinate. There’s extra data on doing longer distance days like this in our publish the ten finest day journeys from Kyoto.
Our prime 11 issues to do on Miyajima Island
A couple of folks will go to Miyajima Island, snap a number of photos of the well-known floating torii and head off. Others will keep in a single day or for a number of days on the island. We’ve visited a few instances on a day journey from Hiroshima metropolis. The ferry begins early within the morning and runs into the night so day journeys have labored properly for us however subsequent time we plan to remain on the island simply to have that have, it’s much more tranquil early or later within the day.
The precedence for most individuals is to be there for top tide when each the Torii and the shrine itself seem to drift on the tide. It’s actually value being there to see it proper on the prime of the tide because the bay could be very flat and the tide departs shortly. You should use this hyperlink to examine the excessive and low tide instances in English for the date of your go to.
The Floating Torii
The nice Torii gate within the distance with the shrine behind is one in all your first photos of Miyajima Island as you strategy on the ferry however you’ll see it a lot nearer and extra clearly as soon as on the island. In the course of the excessive tide it seems to be floating within the sea and at low tide, you possibly can stroll out to it and cross by means of the gate.
The primary nice Torii on the location was in-built 1168 and the gate you see there right this moment is the eighth iteration in-built 1875. A torii is a gate between the on a regular basis world and the sacred area, on this case, Itsukushima Shrine. The vermilion color, that distinctive orange you see on shrine buildings and at some temples throughout Japan is believed to maintain evil spirits away so in a manner by getting into by means of the gate you might be each being respectful and purifying your self of evil spirits earlier than getting into. In the event you’re take a learn of this publish discussing the best technique to enter and different shrine etiquette for guests.
I imagined that the gate should be pushed deep into the seabed to make it steady however though it stands on a base of stones strengthened at sea degree with stakes it really stands below its personal weight, all 60 tonnes of it. It’s constructed from naturally grown cedar timber with cyprus thatching on the roof which additionally encloses about 7 tonnes of stones to help in conserving it balanced. All of it sounds a bit precarious should you didn’t know that it had stood in its numerous kinds for therefore many centuries.
There are a great deal of whitetail deer across the island, you’ll see them exterior the ferry terminal while you first arrive and we’ve seen them manner up the highest of Mt Misen. Whether or not you like them or keep away from them they do largely congregate the place there the persons are. These massive eyes are nice for manipulating treats out of unsuspecting guests. Maybe as a result of we don’t feed them we’ve not had a difficulty with the deer anyplace in Japan however we now have seen them pestering some folks and they could be a bit mischievous having a nibble on the odd purse or making an attempt to share a snack.
This mum with two fawns adopted us as much as Daisho-in temple, they’re extraordinarily cute and I personally like to see them right here. The island has loads of pure shrubbery for them to eat just a little manner out of city so that they don’t must eat human meals and in the long term, it might’t be good for them.
Omotesando Buying Avenue
The procuring road between the ferry terminal and the shrine is a well-liked spot for purchasing souvenirs (omiyage), having a meal or selecting up a snack. There’s even just a little spa the place you possibly can have a fish nibbling pedicure should you’ve been which means to do that distinctive therapy.
The island takes its title due to this shrine. Initially named Itsukushima the identical because the shrine and subsequently Miyajima which accurately means Shrine Island. The floating torii was the doorway gate for this shrine, as soon as accessed by boat on to the shrines personal pier. The shrines spirituality is intense, even crowded with folks so it’s not shocking that the island has been recognised as a religious place for therefore lengthy. The shrine was believed to have been first based in 593 though the primary documented document isn’t till 811 and the premise of the present design dates again to 1168.
The complicated consists of a number of halls and shrines interconnected by corridors lit with lanterns, the whole shrine standing on pillars above the tide. If in case you have the chance it seems to be beautiful lit within the night though you possibly can’t enter it after darkish. The stone lanterns on the far facet and the torii are additionally lit up at night time till 11pm.
5 Story Pagoda
The tall vermilion pagoda on the hill excessive above Itsukushima Shrine is a part of Toyokuni Shrine and is known as Goju-no-to. It was in-built 1407 and restored in 1533, it’s present shiny lacquer utilized as a part of a subsequent restoration in its unique fashion in 1945 to additional shield it from the weather. The pagoda enshrines the Drugs Buddha together with Buddhist saints Fugen and Monju who’re extra generally depicted as a triad with Shaka (Shakamuni) the historic Buddha.
You aren’t in a position to enter the pagoda however the Corridor of 1000 tatami mats is open. It has a fascinating historical past that intertwines Buddhism and Shintoism. It was commissioned in 1587 to a a Buddhist library for the chanting of sutras and devoted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi one in all Japans 3 nice unifiers. Development was halted when Hideyoshi died 11 years later and it stands partly accomplished right this moment a mixture of grandeur and abandonment. Initially Amida was enshrined within the Buddhist alter however for the reason that Meiji interval, it has been used solely in Shinto rituals. It’s the biggest construction on the Island.
I actually take pleasure in this temple which wears its very lengthy historical past with a component of contemporary kawaii tradition. Daisho-in is alleged to have been based by the monk Kukai (posthumously Kobo Daishi) again in 806 when he visited the island. Its many halls and treasures mirror its lengthy historical past and significance to each the folks and historic imperial rulers of Japan.
In the event you’re planning to cease in right here you possibly can learn extra on our publish on Daisho-in temple.
Whether or not you employ the ropeway (talked about beneath) or climb it your self Mt Misen is unquestionably value making time for. Primordial forest, large boulders, historic temples, unimaginable views and its personal legends there’s one thing right here to curiosity everybody.
In the event you’re going to discover the mountain get the additional data you want from our publish on the beautiful Mt Misen.
Becoming a member of a tour with a neighborhood information
To see as a lot of Miyajima Island as potential in a single day and perceive the tradition and vital historical past of the world you would possibly select to see the world with a neighborhood information.
Magical journey runs a small group, full-day mountain climbing tour that takes you off the crushed path and past the well-known shrine. You’ll hike up Mt Misen, benefit from the views and lunch on the summit then take the ropeway again right down to Momiji Dani park.
If in case you have the time then taking the ropeway up Mt Misen is properly well worth the journey. There’s a little bit of luck concerned in choosing the right day to go, the views are beautiful on a transparent sunny day, particularly in winter while you don’t get the warmth haze.
It took us a few trys to hit the right climate however even when it was a bit overcast have been nonetheless in a position to benefit from the view each from the ropeway itself and from the highest. In the event you’re in a position to make the stroll I like to recommend persevering with on to the highest, ensure you take a drink and have sneakers appropriate for strolling a clean dust observe.
The hours range barely by season nevertheless it runs not less than 9am to 5pm. An grownup fare is Y1800 return or Y1000 for a method. If you wish to stroll there are some observe choices lined in our Mt Misen article linked above. From the bottom station (Momijidani) you’re taking these smaller automobiles to the mid station (Kayatani) then swap to bigger automobiles for the ultimate stretch to the highest station (Shishiiwa).
Rejoice the Seasons
With its enormous numbers of maples and broadleaf timber Miyajima Island is extremely fashionable as a koyo or autumn leaf peeping spot with a lot of the island decked out with the jewel-coloured leaves and seasonal delicacies. In springtime, it’s equally fashionable for its many cherry blossom timber and it’s positively a shocking view as you strategy on the boat while you see the island behind the shrine lined in sakura bloom.
That doesn’t imply there’s nothing occurring the remainder of the 12 months although. Winter brings massive juicy native oysters, roasted chestnuts and infrequently clear skys and the perfect views. It’s additionally the season for Setsubun, one in all my favorite festivals and it’s actually massive over on Miyajima. Summer season is while you’ll see Itsukushima Shrines’ most vital competition of the 12 months, like many spots in Japan it’s the season of fireworks and sea bathing, turns into fashionable to offset the warmth and humidity.
Eat the native specialties
In the event you’ve been on this website earlier than you already know that meals is a big a part of our journey expertise and we like to check out the native specialties. Miyajima Island is perhaps the right place for this because the specialties will attraction to a variety of tastes. Firstly the world is well-known for its oysters, you’ll most likely spot among the oyster beds within the bay off within the distance from the ferry on the way in which throughout. These oysters are served in numerous kinds at lots of the eating places within the procuring road on the island, you possibly can even get some freshly shucked and grilled as a snack as you cross by means of.
The opposite specialty is a type of Japanese candy. It’s referred to as Momiji Manjyu and is a small cake within the form of the maple leaf (momiji) historically full of candy crimson azuki bean paste. Whereas the unique type is scrumptious there are many different varieties, the matcha was scrumptious!
You should buy a number of for a snack however these will preserve some time and are fantastically offered so that they’re a well-liked memento or present. Giving a present to colleagues, household and associates while you return from a vacation is a customized referred to as omiyage in Japan and momiji manjyu are a well-liked alternative.
When to Go to Miyajima
Like so many elements of Japan seasons play an enormous position on Miyajima Island however I might fortunately go to at any time of 12 months.
We personally beloved seeing the island in full cherry blossom (sakura), this can be a very fashionable time to go to. Along with the maple timber, the hillsides are equally lined in cherry timber and create a spectacular show. Spring can be additionally a superb temperature for energetic exploring, though it does are typically overcast with some showers we’ve not discovered they’ve impacted our March / April journey an excessive amount of.
Summer season will be humid with temperatures 30-35°c. It is perhaps just a little heat for mountain climbing however August is fireworks season in Japan and there’s a shocking show over the bay plus there’s the largest occasion of the 12 months at Itsukushima Shrine, the Kangan competition.
Autumn or Fall
Miyajima Island is thought for its maple timber and their jewel toned show throughout the fall, that is much more famend right here than the dramatic sakura blossom show. Many of the timber are contained in the island just a little so enable time to discover past the foreshore and Itsukushima shine.
You also needs to strive the regional memento, the Momiji Manju, a maple leaf-shaped pastry with a candy crimson bean filling though now you possibly can have quite a lot of completely different flavours. The climate could also be superb for exploring particularly if you wish to climb the mountain fairly than taking the ropeway.
Winter can present some clear days that enable nice views from the highest of Mt Misen out over the Seto Inland Sea. Whereas you want a heat jacket or coat with you it’s not often bitterly chilly both. We’ve visited in winter (February) and whereas the numerous deciduous timber are naked it’s nonetheless very fairly. Winter can be the season of Oysters, you will notice the oyster farms from the ferry on the way in which out, I extremely advocate attempting them both as a snack otherwise you meal on the island.
There’s a vary of lodging choices on the island, these are on the extra dear finish however for the expertise of wandering the island at night time after everybody has returned house or watching the solar come up within the morning, it may positively be value it. In case you are wanting to remain on the island simply watch out to make sure that is what you might be getting while you guide, we’ve discovered a number of locations referred to as Miyajima however they’re on the mainland facet.
I’ve my eye on Jukeiso on Miyajima Island for an evening on our subsequent go to. In case you are after a ryokan expertise this may very well be for you, it has Japanese fashion rooms however with personal loos, there’s an indoor communal onsen and a personal one you possibly can reserve exterior with a view of the shrine. They run a shuttle to and from the ferry (simply get the information desk within the ferry terminal to name for you while you arrive) and you’ll guide both with breakfast and dinner or simply breakfast included.
Staying in Hiroshima Metropolis is unquestionably an choice although and it’s what we now have performed beforehand. If time is restricted it means that you can be extra versatile, the number of lodging is larger as are eating places and different actions.
The Lodge Granvia Hiroshima is a sequence in Japan that’s situated adjoining to the practice station however don’t let that put you off, we’ve by no means skilled any noise disruption and they’re a wonderful high quality resort with nice services and all of the conveniences you want like a superb number of eating places and tram stops close by. We regularly take day journeys from a central base so being conveniently situated to the transport works properly for us and it’s not troublesome to stroll or take the tram into the town and sights.
Alternatively, the Crown Plaza ANA Hiroshima is one other we now have used that’s near the Peace Park and the town centre, it’s well-appointed, a superb location and we’ve discovered good offers right here too. You may get a tram from the practice station to a cease proper exterior or we obtained a taxi with our baggage which is kind of moderately priced for this brief distance.
Miyajima Island Customer Data
Miyajima Island is a 30 minute (Y410) practice journey on the Sanyo line from Hiroshima station. Get off the practice at Miyajimaguchi and cross the highway to the ferry cease. The JR ferry takes 10 minutes to make the crossing and prices Y180. In case you are utilizing the JR cross each the practice and ferry are included in that.
In case you are coming from additional afield Hiroshima is about 2 hours from Kyoto or 1 hour 40 minutes from Osaka utilizing bullet trains below the JR Move, barely quicker if utilizing Nozomi choices.
Charges and Costs
There are not any charges to entry the island however some shrine and temple buildings have a small entry price/donation.
There are public bogs on the island and areas to take pleasure in a picnic. There may be additionally a variety of eating places and locations to purchase snacks and drinks largely situated within the Omotesando procuring road.
In the event you’ve been to Miyajima Island what was your favorite half, should you’re planning on visiting what are you most considering seeing?