A day journey to Miyajima Island is a must-do whereas in Hiroshima. It’s one in all Japans high 3 scenic spots, straightforward to get to and there’s a lot to see and do right here
For those who’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 doable to do it as an extended day journey from cities like Kyoto, Osaka or Kobe particularly in the event you’re utilizing the JR Cross.
The bullet practice, native practice and ferry are all run by Japan Rail and are included within the move making it cost-effective and simple to coordinate. There’s extra info on doing longer distance days like this in our put up the ten finest day journeys from Kyoto.
Our high 11 issues to do on Miyajima Island
A couple of folks will go to Miyajima Island, snap a number of pictures 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 occasions on a day journey from Hiroshima metropolis. The ferry begins early within the morning and runs into the night so day journeys have labored effectively 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 price being there to see it proper on the high of the tide because the bay could be very flat and the tide departs rapidly. You should use this hyperlink to examine the excessive and low tide occasions 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 pictures 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. Through the excessive tide it seems to be floating within the sea and at low tide, you possibly can stroll out to it and move by way of the gate.
The primary nice Torii on the location was inbuilt 1168 and the gate you see there immediately is the eighth iteration inbuilt 1875. A torii is a gate between the on a regular basis world and the sacred house, 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 approach by coming into by way of the gate you’re each being respectful and purifying your self of evil spirits earlier than coming into. For those who’re take a learn of this put up discussing the proper strategy to enter and different shrine etiquette for guests.
I imagined that the gate have to 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 truly 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 retaining it balanced. All of it sounds a bit precarious in the event you didn’t know that it had stood in its numerous varieties for therefore many centuries.
There are a great deal of whitetail deer across the island, you’ll see them exterior the ferry terminal if you first arrive and we’ve seen them approach up the highest of Mt Misen. Whether or not you’re keen on them or keep away from them they do principally 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 now we 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 somewhat approach out of city in order that they don’t have to eat human meals and in the long term, it could possibly’t be good for them.
Omotesando Procuring Avenue
The buying avenue between the ferry terminal and the shrine is a well-liked spot for getting souvenirs (omiyage), having a meal or selecting up a snack. There’s even somewhat spa the place you possibly can have a fish nibbling pedicure in the event you’ve been which means to do this distinctive remedy.
The island takes its identify 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 stunning 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 file isn’t till 811 and the idea of the present design dates again to 1168.
The complicated consists of a number of halls and shrines interconnected by corridors lit with lanterns, your complete shrine standing on pillars above the tide. If in case you have the chance it appears 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 known as Goju-no-to. It was inbuilt 1407 and restored in 1533, it’s present shiny lacquer utilized as a part of a subsequent restoration in its unique model 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. Building was halted when Hideyoshi died 11 years later and it stands partly accomplished immediately a mixture of grandeur and abandonment. Initially Amida was enshrined within the Buddhist alter however because the Meiji interval, it has been used completely 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.
For those who’re planning to cease in right here you possibly can learn extra on our put up on Daisho-in temple.
Whether or not you utilize the ropeway (talked about under) or climb it your self Mt Misen is unquestionably price making time for. Primordial forest, large boulders, historical temples, unbelievable views and its personal legends there’s one thing right here to curiosity everybody.
For those who’re going to discover the mountain get the additional info you want from our put up on the beautiful Mt Misen.
Becoming a member of a tour with an area information
To see as a lot of Miyajima Island as doable in a single day and perceive the tradition and necessary historical past of the realm you would possibly select to see the realm with an area 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 all the way down to Momiji Dani park.
If in case you have the time then taking the ropeway up Mt Misen is effectively 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 if you don’t get the warmth haze.
It took us a few trys to hit the proper climate however even when it was a bit overcast had been nonetheless in a position to benefit from the view each from the ropeway itself and from the highest. For those who’re in a position to make the stroll I like to recommend persevering with on to the highest, be sure you take a drink and have footwear appropriate for strolling a clean grime monitor.
The hours range barely by season but it surely runs a minimum of 9am to 5pm. An grownup fare is Y1800 return or Y1000 for a technique. If you wish to stroll there are some monitor 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 change to bigger automobiles for the ultimate stretch to the highest station (Shishiiwa).
Rejoice the Seasons
With its large 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 surprising view as you strategy on the boat if 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 very best 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 if you’ll see Itsukushima Shrines’ most necessary 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
For those who’ve been on this website earlier than you realize that meals is a big a part of our journey expertise and we like to check out the native specialties. Miyajima Island is likely to be the proper place for this because the specialties will attraction to a variety of tastes. Firstly the realm 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 varieties at lots of the eating places within the buying avenue on the island, you possibly can even get some freshly shucked and grilled as a snack as you move by way 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 pink azuki bean paste. Whereas the unique type is scrumptious there are many different varieties, the matcha was scrumptious!
You should purchase a number of for a snack however these will preserve some time and are fantastically introduced in order that they’re a preferred memento or present. Giving a present to colleagues, household and buddies if you return from a vacation is a customized referred to as omiyage in Japan and momiji manjyu are a preferred selection.
When to Go to Miyajima
Like so many elements of Japan seasons play an enormous function on Miyajima Island however I might fortunately go to at any time of 12 months.
We personally cherished seeing the island in full cherry blossom (sakura), it is a very talked-about time to go to. Along with the maple timber, the hillsides are equally lined in cherry timber and create a spectacular show. Spring can also be additionally a very good temperature for lively exploring, though it does are usually 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 likely to be somewhat heat for mountain climbing however August is fireworks season in Japan and there’s a surprising 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 through the fall, that is much more famend right here than the dramatic sakura blossom show. A lot of the timber are contained in the island somewhat so permit time to discover past the foreshore and Itsukushima shine.
You must also strive the regional memento, the Momiji Manju, a maple leaf-shaped pastry with a candy pink bean filling though now you possibly can have quite a lot of completely different flavours. The climate could also be very best for exploring particularly if you wish to climb the mountain quite than taking the ropeway.
Winter can present some clear days that permit nice views from the highest of Mt Misen out over the Seto Inland Sea. Whereas you will have a heat jacket or coat with you it’s hardly ever bitterly chilly both. We’ve visited in winter (February) and whereas the various deciduous timber are naked it’s nonetheless very fairly. Winter can also be the season of Oysters, you will note the oyster farms from the ferry on the way in which out, I extremely advocate making an attempt 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 expensive finish however for the expertise of wandering the island at night time after everybody has returned residence or watching the solar come up within the morning, it might positively be price it. If you’re wanting to remain on the island simply watch out to make sure that is what you’re getting if you e-book, 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. If you’re after a ryokan expertise this may very well be for you, it has Japanese model rooms however with non-public loos, there’s an indoor communal onsen and a non-public 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 if you arrive) and you’ll e-book both with breakfast and dinner or simply breakfast included.
Staying in Hiroshima Metropolis is unquestionably an possibility although and it’s what now we have finished beforehand. If time is proscribed it lets you be extra versatile, the number of lodging is bigger as are eating places and different actions.
The Lodge Granvia Hiroshima is a sequence in Japan that’s positioned 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 superb high quality lodge with nice services and all of the conveniences you want like a very good number of eating places and tram stops close by. We frequently take day journeys from a central base so being conveniently positioned to the transport works effectively for us and it’s not troublesome to stroll or take the tram into town and sights.
Alternatively, the Crown Plaza ANA Hiroshima is one other now we have used that’s near the Peace Park and town centre, it’s well-appointed, a very good 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 acquired a taxi with our baggage which is kind of fairly 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. If you’re utilizing the JR move each the practice and ferry are included in that.
If you’re coming from additional afield Hiroshima is about 2 hours from Kyoto or 1 hour 40 minutes from Osaka utilizing bullet trains below the JR Cross, barely quicker if utilizing Nozomi choices.
Charges and Expenses
There aren’t 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 spread of eating places and locations to purchase snacks and drinks principally positioned within the Omotesando buying avenue.
For those who’ve been to Miyajima Island what was your favorite half, in the event you’re planning on visiting what are you most fascinated about seeing?