Miyajima Island is well known among the locals of Japan for Itsukushima Shrine. Plus, knowing it’s that close to Hiroshima, means that my trip that can be considered as a day trip to explore the island.
Journey to Miyajima Island
Take a local train from Hiroshima Station down to Miyajimaguchi Station (about 35 mins away), you will find the ferry terminal to bring you to Miyajima Island. The journey from the ferry terminal to the island is around 10mins and there are multiple timings throughout the day. There are two companies operating with ferries here, but I chose to ride with JR since I had a regional JR pass on me. So I rode for free!
Timings can be found here!
Once you arrive at Miyajima Island, exit the terminal at the island and take a right turn to head to Itsukushima Shrine and the other attractions surrounding it. But if you wish to explore more, there’s a map in the terminal that can point out the main attractions around the island.
Itsukushima Shrine and the Torii Gate
Moving on to Itsukushima Shrine and the Torii Gate. Itsukushima Shrine is a UNESCO heritage and sits on a coastline that is easily affected by the tides of the ocean. Planning your trip with consideration of the tides is important here as you might be able to catch the high tide and low tide moving in and out. At the time I went, the high tide was the around 12 in the afternoon and the low tide in the early morning. So I knew at around which time could I walk on the beach.
After lunch, I spent the later half of the day exploring some of the less popular shrines and temples of the island and playing with the deers.
After which, I visited Daisho-in temple, a temple with a complex layout of many small shrines and statues. Here are some photos that I took. It didn’t seem like a very old temple as I was lead to believe. Perhaps it was because of the layout.
Mount Misen Hike via Daisho-in Route
Daisho-in Temple was also a start of a short but steep climb up to Mt Misen, a mountain that was worshipped by the locals for many years on the island. The Daisho-in course is the shortest of 3 courses, as you can see from the picture below. However, short on a mountain of this height means a steep climb to the summit. But I can reassure you that it is a rewarding hike.
Personally, I feel that the 535m hill is for adventurous people and people fit to climb up a large number of steps. Unless you are that, I would suggest that you just take the ropeway up and walk down, as it’s a lot easier and less tiring. But if you decide to hike up or down the hill via the Daisho-in route, there are many great views that you can chance upon.
While it was a crowded site at the bottom of the hill, the summit had an opposite vibe where there was no one around. You could really enjoy the beauty of nature and at the same time take photos of yourself without people judging you.
Torii Gate Sunset View
After returning to the base of the hill via the ropeway, the sky cleared up over the past day of rain and the colours of the sunset was beginning to pop out. I spend the late evening just happily shooting away with my camera and enjoying the moment of beauty.
Itsukushima Shrine town would start closing early at around 5pm. So just take note if you intend to buy souvenirs at the end of the day. It is also around this time where people start to leave the island and head back to the mainland for dinner.