I guess everyone has this picture in mind. The typical picture that so many people post after their trip to Japan. The orange gate (torii) that is standing in the middle of the water. Does it ring a bell? Well, this torii gate belongs to the Itskushima Shrine which also seems to be floating on the water during high tide. You will find the Itkushima Shrine on the island Miyajima near Hiroshima. But there is even more to see in Miyajima than just the shrine.
What to find out in this post
Quick info about Miyajima
- Island around 20 km South of Hiroshima
- The size of the island is 30,33 km2
- The name Miyajima literally means “Shrine Island”
- The Itskushima-Shrine and its famous orange torii belong to the UNESCO World Heritage since 1996
- Deer is walking around the island freely
- Inside of the island you might find snow monkeys
- Typical souvenir of this island is a wooden rice spoon
How do you get there?
From Hiroshima Station (JR Hiroshima Station) you can go up to Miyajima-guchi. The duration of the trip is around 30 Minuten and costs 410 Yen (ca. 3,15 Euro). From Miyajima-guchi port you can take a ferry. Basically there are two companies which you can choose from. Each ticket costs 180 Yen (ca. 1,40 Euro). So economically speaking it doesn’t really matter which one you are choosing. But we got recommended to use the JR Line as this one drives by nearer the orange torii. Thus you get a better view on it.
What is there to see?
Miyajima is mostly famous for the Itskushima- Shrine and the orange torii gate that belongs to it, which is usually standing in the water. But the water thing is actually just partly true. Its feet are just covered by water during high tide. And yes, you’ve guessed right, we made it to Miyajima during low tide. I was actually really looking forward to see it standing in the water. Anyway, the advantage on the other hand was being able to also take a view on it from the other side, which is usually covered by water.
When the water finally returned we were already on our way back. So, the last thing we could see was the first bit of water touching the torii gate. But enough complained now. Anyway, the Itskushima-Shrine was a great thing to see.
The temple costs entrance though. To be honest, I don’t remember the exact price. I think it was around 5 Euro. Thus, budgetwise we rather skipped that part. But I heard there is not much to see besides a better view on the torii gate. As the highlight of this temple is actually the water around it.
Besides the Itskushima-Shrine there are more temples and shrines on Miyajima. One of those is the Daisho-in Temple. In the temple grounds you can find many Buddha statues and a beautiful view from up there. Moreover, in the entrance you can find a big bell which everyone is allowed to ring once.
The Deer of Miyajima
Another reason that attracts many tourists to visit the island are the deer. Similiar to Nara the deer is walking around freely. So better keep good care of your belongings. We have seen successful robberies of deer stealing food from inattentive tourists. (We also saw some unsuccessful poor tries though) And when the deer are not busy chasing visitors for food they might stand in line in one of the street food stands. I mean, it’s worth a try, isn’t it?
Omotesando is the main visitor street of Miyajima. Here you can find restaurants, shops and street food stands. (And obviously deer)
When you visit Omotesando Street make sure to try one of the popular Momiji Manjyu. It’s a pastry filled with red bean paste. Yummi.
Mt. Misen is the highest mountain of the island. It’s the perfect place for nice walks within beautiful nature or even hikes. There is also a cable railway if you feel like going up. Unfortunately, it was already closed when we finally arrived. And it is also recommended not to go up if you won’t be back before dark. So no chance for us to try. But we could anyway enjoy our walk around the lower part of the mountain. (Until one crazy huge bug bit me in the head)
On the island you will also find a big aquarium. Unfortunately, we had not quite much time to spend on Miyajima. So no aquarium for us. But maybe anyone of you guys has made an experience with this aquarium and might wanna share his thoughts about it?
Miyajima all in all
Miyajima is a super cozy peaceful island and is absolutely worth a visit. (Or two) Even if you just feel like walking around without going anywhere is particular it is the perfect place to spend a relaxed day on a busy Japan trip.