Ten minutes by ferry from Miyajima-guchi tram stop and JR station, Miyajima is rated one of three most scenic places in ... More
Ten minutes by ferry from Miyajima-guchi tram stop and JR station, Miyajima is rated one of three most scenic places in Japan, along with Amanohashidate (north of Kyoto) and Matsushima (near Sendai). Highlights include Itsukushima Shrine, waterborne Otorii Gate, and Mt. Misen, which can be easily hiked or summited via ropeway. Look for the colony of semi-wild monkeys near the ropeway station, but avoid eye contact: monkeys can be very aggressive. Day tickets are available for public transit through the local tourist authority.
Miyajima is another one of the wonderful places in Japan where you can feed the tame deer that wander thru town. Families will love this small intimate island. You can also go crabbing with the locals.
Miyajima is a must-see for anyone who is in the Hiroshima area. Spend the day exploring the MANY temples and shrines. Miyajima is a place to wander around slowly and take it all in. Momijidani Park is an unbelievable sight in the autumn, but can be enjoyed year-round. Take off your shoes in summer and walk up the streams, sit, and relax. Even though it's quite "tourist-y", it still maintains old-world charm.
The trip to Miyajima Island was an afterthought as part of a planned trip to Hiroshima. I must say, however, it was the best thing about the area. The temples, shrines, and pagodas on the island are amazing. Definately plan to take a trip there if you are going to Hiroshima.
I think the best time to go is in the Fall. The colors are just amazing. Make sure you go to Momijidani Park.
The Itsukushima Shrine is beautiful. We happened to go on a day when there was a Wedding ceremony being performed at the shrine. It was so amazing!
The big Torii is also amazing!
It is definitely worth the trip if you are in the area!!
Miyajima is unquestionably one of the most beautiful places in all of Japan and should be on every visitor's list.
After a somber morning at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, I made the short JR train journey to Miyajima-guchi and boarded the JR ferry for Miyajima island (all FREE with a JR Rail Pass).
As the island, tori gate, pagodas, and the temple came into the view, it looked like something out of a dream. I passed through a charming little village nestled along the shoreline with crooked streets filled with unique shops, vendors of a single specialty food, or full restaurants or noodle shops. Lots of tame and contented deer wander freely around the village (and wild monkeys inhabit the hills above the village). I recommend trying to bypass the myriad temptations for now, if you can (otherwise you'll get encumbered)... LOL and spend the next few hours wandering around the serene and ancient temples. There is giant temple with ancient timbers a thousand years old on the hill. Sometimes one can walk right out to the iconic tori gate out on the water. It stands in front of the "floating temple" which is painted a brilliant vermillion colour (it might seem familiar to movie fans. On the right of this temple are a cluster little temples and shrines, and a small pagoda on the hill, which also has spectacular views.
Fresh oysters seem to be the local specialty and they are indeed wonderful (5 on a skewer for about 5 bucks). For reasons unclear to me, the classic Miyajima souvenir seems to be the rice scooper (or shamoji) and almost every shop sells shamoji of various sizes, from miniature keychain size to GIANT surfboard sized.
If you possibly can, linger there in Miyajima at sunset after the tourists and school groups have gone, and the place takes on a magical transformation once again. With every passing moment, in the golden light and long shadows, the place seems to revert back to the past (back into ancient Japan). It was an astonishing effect, and breathtakingly beautiful.
Wow is the best way to some up my experience in Miyajima.
A short ferry ride from Hiroshima the island of Miyajima is a relaxing and fun place to visit. I would recommend staying a night or two.
As soon as you dock you will be greeted by friendly deer (Shika). They are all over the island and are extremely tame. You can walk up and pet them if you like but do not feed them please.
The island has a very nice town with numerous gift stores, and treats. Most of the restaurants close early I think around 5:00. At night the Itsukushima shrine and the grand gate (O-Torii) is lit up. The O-torii is one of the most famous images of Japan. Daishoin temple is utterly amazing. I had not heard of it prior to my visit but was shocked at the many beautiful statues and view.
I also suggest a ride up Mount Misen by cable. The view is astounding. You may also see Saru (Japanese monkeys) They often visit the area near the cable lift. I was surprised by how docile they were. You can walk within a couple of feet of them.
There is just so much to do on this small island and the locals are so friendly it is a don't miss place for anyone in the Hiroshima area. Fall is the most popular time to visit as the trees turn red, orange, and yellow.
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