Exploring Miyajima: A Complete Travel Guide

Exploring Miyajima: A Complete Travel Guide

Exploring Miyajima: A Complete Travel Guide

About Miyajima

Miyajima, also known as Itsukushima, is a picturesque island located in the Seto Inland Sea of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Famous for its stunning natural beauty and historical significance, this island is a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers. Miyajima is best known for its iconic floating torii gate, which appears to be standing in the middle of the sea during high tide. The island is also home to several temples, shrines, and hiking trails, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts.

Getting to Miyajima

Getting to Miyajima is relatively easy as it is well-connected to Hiroshima City by ferries. The most popular way to reach the island is to take a ferry from Miyajimaguchi, which is a short train ride from Hiroshima. The ferry ride itself is a scenic adventure, offering stunning views of the surrounding islands and the famous torii gate. The ferry operates regularly throughout the day, making it convenient for visitors to plan their trip to Miyajima. Alternatively, if you have the time, you can also take a leisurely cruise from Hiroshima City, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the Seto Inland Sea.

Main Attractions

Miyajima offers a plethora of attractions that cater to different interests. Here are some of the main highlights:

1. Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine is the most famous landmark on Miyajima and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known for its iconic torii gate, which appears to float on the water during high tide, the shrine is a breathtaking sight. The vermilion-colored shrine complex is also worth exploring, with its beautiful architecture and serene surroundings. You can visit the shrine for free or pay a small fee to enter some of the temple buildings.

2. Mount Misen

Mount Misen is the highest peak on Miyajima and offers panoramic views of the island and the Seto Inland Sea. There are several hiking trails that lead to the summit, each offering a unique experience. The Momijidani Course takes you through a scenic maple forest, while the Daishoin Course leads you past ancient Buddhist temples. At the summit, you can enjoy breathtaking views and visit the Misen Hondo, a Buddhist hall that dates back to the 12th century.

3. Senjokaku

Senjokaku, also known as the "Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats," is a large wooden hall located near Itsukushima Shrine. Although incomplete, it is an impressive structure with a spacious interior, offering visitors a glimpse into ancient Japanese architecture. The hall is surrounded by a beautiful garden, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

4. Miyajima Aquarium

For those interested in marine life, the Miyajima Aquarium is a must-visit destination. It houses a wide variety of marine species, including dolphins, seals, and penguins. The aquarium offers interactive exhibits, shows, and feeding sessions, making it a great place to learn about the marine ecosystem.

5. Omotesando Shopping Street

Located near Miyajima Pier, Omotesando Shopping Street is a bustling promenade lined with souvenir shops, restaurants, and street food stalls. Here, you can indulge in local delicacies such as Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki and Momiji Manju, a maple leaf-shaped sweet filled with different flavors like red bean paste or custard. The street also offers a range of souvenirs, including traditional crafts, clothing, and accessories.

Where to Stay

Miyajima offers a range of accommodations catering to different budgets and preferences. From luxury resorts with stunning sea views to cozy traditional inns, there is something for everyone. Staying overnight on the island allows you to experience the tranquility and charm of Miyajima after day-trippers have left. It also provides an opportunity to witness the magical sight of the torii gate illuminated at night, an unforgettable experience.

Best Time to Visit

Miyajima can be visited throughout the year, each season offering its own unique charm. However, the best time to visit is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Spring brings cherry blossoms, while autumn offers vibrant foliage, both creating a stunning backdrop for your visit. The island tends to be crowded during these seasons, so visiting early morning or late afternoon can help you avoid the crowds.


Miyajima is a destination that captivates travelers with its natural beauty, rich history, and cultural treasures. From its iconic torii gate to its beautiful temples, hiking trails, and delicious cuisine, Miyajima offers a truly immersive experience. Whether you are seeking spiritual tranquility or outdoor adventures, this island has something to offer to everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the enchanting world of Miyajima!