5 reasons why you should visit Miyajima.
1) This is the island where God lives. There is a beauty that comes from this belief.
Miyajima is thought to be the island where God lives. It is said that Itsukushima Shrine is built on the coast because the entire island is considered the body of God and is sanctified. Itsukushima Shrine was built at the end of the 6th century and modified to become the current building with its solemn appearance by Kiyomori Taira, who first came to power as a warrior in 1168. It is located in the sea and has a bold structure as its shape changes with the rising and falling tide. In addition, the landscape combined with the vermilion lacquered shrine building, the green virgin forest at the back, and the blue sea duly symbolizes the Japanese sense of beauty. The beauty of the landscapes continues to attract visitors.
2) Mysterious landscapes in the morning and evening
Itsukushima Shrine is illuminated at night. The red color of the shrine shines brightly and is of solemn beauty. Moreover, the graceful scenery of the shrine in the sacred atmosphere of the morning is beautiful, and you can’t miss it. To look at these two impressions, we recommend staying on Miyajima Island. There are many traditional Japanese inns called ryokan in Miyajima and you can choose a Western-style or Japanese-style room.
There are ryokans where you can enjoy local cuisine or a spa as well as a room without meals. There are also many other interesting points when it comes to choosing a ryokan. Enjoy a pleasant time and get a good impression of the sanctuary.
3) Visit solemn temples
In Miyajima, there are many temples as well as Itsukushima Shrine. When you leave the shrine, you can see Daiganji Temple, where craftsmen repaired Itsukushima Shrine from the 13th century to the Meiji Restoration.
Among the 4 Buddha statues, Yakushinyoraizazou was created by Kuukai (also known as Kouboudaishi, one of the most famous priests in the history of Japan) in the 10th century.
On the hill to the left of Itsukushima Shrine, are the five-story pagoda and Senjyokaku. The five-story pagoda built in 1407 is a bright vermilion color, and the atmosphere is really beautiful. It was built with Zen Buddhism building techniques introduced in China. Senjyokaku, which is adjacent to the pagoda, was founded by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who unified Japan in the era of provincial wars to hold a memorial service for the war dead in 1587. However, it is left unfinished due to Hideyoshi’s death. The gold leaf is painted on the tiles of the building. If the work had been completed, the entire temple would be painted with beautiful gold leaf.
Another tourist spot, Daishouin, located west of Itsukushima Shrine, is a 10-minute walk away. It is said that Kuukai (Kouboudaishi) created this temple in 806 after 100 days of ascetic training in Misen. Daishouin had held festivals from Itsukushima Shrine until the Meiji Restoration that changed all kinds of fields, including politics, education, economics, and religion. Numerous Buddha and Mido statues (temple rooms) are inscribed in the spacious premises, and many great people have worshipped and visited there since ancient times. You will also find many shrines and temples that are worth visiting, such as Kiyomori Shrine and the Treasure Hall. If you visit these places with a map, you can feel that Miyajima has been the object of worship for people.
4) Sublime and attractive nature and the beauty of Misen's four seasons
The vast expanse of the site is mostly covered by pristine forest where many types of plants live only in Miyajima, and 431.2 hectares of the site are included in the World Heritage Site.
You can go to the top of Mt. Misen (535 meters above sea level) by cable car and on foot, and it is very good to climb while enjoying the hike on foot. At the top, there is a group of giant boulders, and you can admire the view of the Seto Inland Sea from the observation deck.
In Miyajima, which has been considered a divine island since ancient times and where the richness of nature is not developed, you can enjoy the different seasonal impressions of beautiful landscapes such as cherry blossoms in spring and red leaves in autumn.
5) Walk, taste and experience
Omote-Sando is the main street connecting the port with Itsukushima Shrine, and there are many souvenir shops on both sides of the street. You can shop for souvenirs for a piece of art such as Shamoji, a rice spoon, a famous Momiji manju, a bun filled with bean jam made from maple leaves, and other handicrafts. It is a unique pleasure in Miyajima to enjoy fresh Momiji manju in the window across the street. You will also find many restaurants that offer congresses and well-known grilled oysters. They satisfy the appetite of visitors. In addition, there is Machiya Street (traditional townhouses) in the back street.
There are many workshops, cafes and restaurants, and you can feel the atmosphere of ancient times. If you want to enjoy Miyajima in a more proactive way, a sea kayak is recommended. You can paddle all around Miyajima while admiring the Torii, the sacred gate of the Shinto, and taking in the scenery of Miyajima from the sea. Please have fun at your leisure.
Nearby tourist facilities and activities
From Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (26 minutes). Then take the Miyajimaguchi ferry to Miyajima Pier (10 minutes). Total journey time: about 40 minutes.
From Hiroshima Airport, take the airport limousine bus to Hiroshima Station (45 minutes). From Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (26 minutes). Then take the Miyajimaguchi ferry to Miyajima Pier (10 minutes). Total journey time: about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The first place in “TripAdvisor”
In “TripAdvisor”, the world’s largest tourist word of mouth communication site, Miyajima won first place as a “popular tourist spot for foreigners” in 2011. The ranking is based on word of mouth ratings from foreign visitors, but Miyajima is highly regarded as “the tourist place you should go by any means” and “one of the most beautiful places on the planet.” Visit Miyajima and experience these emotions for yourself.