Miyajima Island, one of the most scenic spots in Japan, is regarded as an Island of Gods in the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. It’s a quaint little island located less than an hour away from the city center of Hiroshima. It is a romantic and historical island where Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site, is located, along with the Virgin Forest of Mt. Misen, and numerous preserved shrines, temples and historical monuments.
The island of shrine
The Great Torii is a free-standing gate in the middle of the sea, of the Itsukushima Shrine. It is a Shrine considered to be the boundary between the spirits and human world. The best part of this shrine is that it looks as if it is floating in water. Visiting Miyajima during higher tide, to view the Great Torii surrounded by water provides a splendid view.
As said “the island of shrine” Miyajima has a tall vermilion pagoda an inspiring feat of wooden architecture rising into the blue skies which is a part of Toyokuni Shrine. It is called Goju-no-to which enshrines the Medicine Buddha along with Buddhist saints Fugen and Monju.
Mt. Misen is the island’s tallest mountain. It has a great views of the island and sits amongst the forest of trees. One can hike to the top through 3 hiking path with spectacular panoramic view. The ropeway ride to the mountain top is well worth the trip. The views would be stunning on a clear sunny day, especially in winter when there is no heat haze. Along the trails or at the top, one can be greeted by the occasional monkey or deer in this site.
Celebration of Seasons
With it’s huge numbers of maples and broad leaf trees Miyajima Island is incredibly popular as a autumn leaves viewing spot with much of the island decked out with the jewel coloured leaves and seasonal delicacies. In springtime it’s equally popular for it’s many cherry blossom trees and it’s a stunning view on approaching on the islands behind the shrine covered in sakura bloom. Winter brings big juicy local oysters, roasted chestnuts and often clear skys and the best views plus Setsubun, a festival in Miyajima. Summer sees Itsukushima Shrines most important festival of the year which is a season of fireworks and sea bathing becomes to offset the heat and humidity.
This is the main visitor’s street on Miyajima Island. It is filled with gift shops, restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream shops, candy stores, art and historical artifacts. One can get a good taste of some of the culture of Hiroshima from hanging out on this street. One can also see the worlds largest wooden rice spoon, O-Shakushi, on this street.
Eat Momiji Manjyu
Momiji Manjyu is a sweet bean paste candy that is made fresh all over the island and is a popular treat in this area with Miyajima Island acting as the hub to get these candies. These desserts come in different flavors such as strawberry, green tea and chocolate, but the most popular is the original sweet bean flavor.