Embark on a magical day trip to Miyajima, a small island located in Hiroshima Bay and renowned for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and iconic Itsukushima Shrine. This itinerary will guide you through the island’s must-visit attractions, including the famous floating torii gate, spiritual sites, and encounters with the island’s friendly deer.
Begin your day by visiting Itsukushima Jinja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Japan’s most revered shrines. The highlight is the stunning Itsukushima Shrine’s torii gate, which appears to be floating in the sea during high tide. Marvel at the harmonious blend of nature and architecture as you explore the shrine’s hallowed grounds.
Next, make your way to Daisho-in Temple, a peaceful Buddhist temple nestled in the verdant hills of Miyajima. Discover its tranquil atmosphere, ornate halls, and beautifully maintained gardens. Seek enlightenment by spinning the prayer wheels and immersing yourself in the serene ambience. I personally also recommend visiting the temple’s tea room. Not only is the matcha tea delicious but the proprietress is also extremely friendly.
A Miyajiman Lunch
Treat your taste buds to a delightful culinary experience. Miyajima is renowned for its fresh seafood; you’ll find numerous restaurants and food stalls offering a delectable array of dishes. Indulge in local specialities like succulent grilled oysters, savoury conger eel, or the famous “anago-meshi” (grilled eel over rice). Sample the flavours of Miyajima’s cuisine, savouring the island’s gastronomic delights.
Experience the magical allure of the floating torii gate at different tide levels. Take your first trip to witness the torii gate during high tide when it appears to float majestically on the sea. Capture breathtaking photos of this iconic symbol against the backdrop of the island’s scenic beauty.
Later in the afternoon, as the tide recedes, take a second trip to see the torii gate during low tide. This unique perspective allows you to walk closer to the gate and observe its intricate structure from a different angle. Explore the surrounding seabed and search for small marine creatures amidst the shallow waters.
Miyajima Island is also home to a friendly population of deer that freely roam the streets and forests. Embrace the opportunity to interact with these gentle creatures and witness their harmonious coexistence with humans. Admire their graceful presence as they wander around the island, adding to the charm of your Miyajima experience. Remember to treat the deer with respect and follow any guidelines provided to ensure their well-being and your safety. Capture memorable encounters with these endearing animals as you explore the island’s natural wonders.
Optional activities on Miyajima
If time permits, consider hiking up Mount Misen, the highest peak on Miyajima. The ascent rewards you with panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea and the surrounding islands. Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll along Omotesando Shopping Street, where you can browse local shops, sample street snacks, and find unique souvenirs.
As the day draws to a close, find a serene spot along the waterfront and immerse yourself in the mesmerizing sunset scenery over the Seto Inland Sea. Capture the golden hues of the sun as it casts its warm glow upon the floating torii gate and surrounding landscape, creating a picturesque and unforgettable moment.
Getting to Miyajima from Hiroshima City
From Hiroshima City, take a short train ride to Miyajimaguchi Station. From there, walk to the nearby ferry terminal and board a ferry bound for Miyajima Island. The ferry ride offers scenic views of the bay and takes approximately 10 minutes. Check the ferry schedule for return trips to ensure a timely return to Hiroshima City.
Embark on this captivating day trip to Miyajima and immerse yourself in its natural splendour, cultural treasures, and the enchanting allure of the floating torii gate. Explore Itsukushima Shrine and Daisho-in Temple, savour the island’s delectable seafood, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
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