The Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Prefecture is a well known Japanese travel destination in the world, and so many tourists visit every year. It is not only known for its sightseeing spots, but also the beautiful nature and local food which you cannot get enough of.
I visited Miyajima Island and here are the must-see spots.
Simply the best: Itsukushima Shrine (The Great Torii)
If someone mentions the most significant tourist attraction on Miyajima Island, Itsukushima shrine is no doubt that place. The beautiful shrine was built to look as if it is floating on the sea, and is renowned for being one of the top three scenic spots of Japan.
If you have time, visit during the high tide period as well as the low tide period. At high tide, you will find that the Torii is reflected on the sea and looks even more stunning.
At the low tide, you might want to get closer to the Torii to place some change beside the column with algae and make a wish. It is believed that your wishes will come true.
Traditional Japanese Ambience: Omotesando Shopping Street
The area which is the liveliest on the island is Omotesando Shopping Street which is located between the Itsukushima Shrine and the ferry port. There are around 70 eateries and souvenir stores which line the 300m street.
You can dig into Miyajima Island’s iconic local food, such as sea water eels, oysters, or Maple Manju which is a steamed maple bun filled with sweet bean paste. Also, Hiroshima’s local speciality of raw, grilled, and fried oysters will be far beyond your expectations. In winter, which is the best season for oysters, you do not want to miss them.
The price range on this street is quite affordable, and even just browsing is fun to do.
The hidden attraction: Momiji-dani Park
A summer retreat on a hot summer’s day
Momijidani Park is a hidden spot known by only insiders. On a hot summer’s day, this place is popular with locals and tourists who seek the cool shade to rest in.
The brook in the park offers old fashioned Japanese scenery in which people cannot help but stop and have a little break. Try to put your bare foot in the brook to refresh yourself. You might want to bring a towel with you.
Cherry Blossoms and Maple Trees
The Momijidani Park is also well known for cherry blossoms in spring and foliage viewing in fall. You can appreciate the scenery offered in different seasons at this park. The crimson foliage of the seven hundreds trees in the park is overwhelmingly beautiful. Fall foliage on Miyajima Island is available from mid November to the end of November.
It’s only a 10 minute walk from this park to the ropeway. There are complimentary shuttle bus services available; however, you can always walk there to enjoy the scenery when the weather is good.
The Awe Inspiring Miyajima Island Ropeway
The ropeway goes up near the summit from the foot of the Mt. Misen. You need to take two types of gondolas. From the gondolas, you can look down to see the world heritage virgin forest and you have a sweeping view the beautiful Seto Inland Sea.
The high ropeway is truly awe inspiring! You get an unfettered view of the Seto Inland Sea, which is also called the Japanese Aegean, so it is definitely worth trying it!
Spectacular & Spiritual Mt. Misen
To get to the top of Mt. Masen hiking routes and both ropeways are available as explained above. Although you get a 360 degree panoramic view, the best view spot is facing southeast! It was a beautiful sunny day when I visited, and I was welcomed to a breathtaking view of the Seto Inland Sea.
By the way, as there aren’t any vending machines on the summit, you might want to buy some drinks at the Shishiiwa Train Station or before getting into gondolas.
Friendly Wild Deer
There are deer that inhabit the Miyajima Island. In case you are going to take photos with the adorable friendly deer, keep an eye on your belongings as they are often targeted for food. Also, bear in mind that you are not allowed to feed the deer.