Miyajima: Exploring Local Culture, Customs & Festivals

Miyajima: Exploring Local Culture, Customs & Festivals


Miyajima, also known as Itsukushima, is a small island located in the Hiroshima Bay, Japan. This picturesque island is famous for its historical landmarks, stunning nature, and rich cultural heritage. With its tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking scenery, Miyajima is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Japanese experience.

Getting There

To reach Miyajima, you can take a ferry from Hiroshima Port or Miyajimaguchi Port. The ferry ride takes approximately 10 minutes and offers beautiful views of the surrounding sea and mountains. Once you arrive on the island, you can explore its attractions on foot or rent a bicycle for a more leisurely sightseeing experience.

Historical Landmarks

One of the main attractions on Miyajima is the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This Shinto shrine is renowned for its iconic floating torii gate, which appears to be standing on water during high tide. Visitors can also admire the beautiful architecture of the shrine's main hall and explore the scenic trails that lead up to Mount Misen, the highest peak on the island. Another notable landmark is the Daisho-in Temple, one of the most important Buddhist temples in the region. This serene temple complex is known for its collection of over 500 stone statues, each with its own unique expression. Visitors can also participate in Buddhist rituals and meditation sessions at the temple.

Cultural Experiences

Miyajima offers a range of cultural experiences that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the local customs and traditions. The island is famous for its traditional craft, including wooden handicrafts and momiji manju, a delicious maple leaf-shaped sweet filled with various fillings. Visitors can try their hand at making these traditional crafts or learn about the intricate process behind their production. For those interested in Japanese festivals, Miyajima hosts several annual events that showcase the island's vibrant culture. The most famous festival is the Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival, held every August, where thousands of fireworks illuminate the night sky over the Itsukushima Shrine. Other festivals include the Kangen-sai, a traditional music festival, and the Spring Lantern Festival, where decorative lanterns are lit up throughout the island.

Natural Attractions

Miyajima is blessed with stunning natural beauty, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration. The island is surrounded by lush forests and scenic hiking trails, making it a paradise for nature lovers. A visit to Mount Misen is highly recommended, providing panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea and the surrounding islands. The Momijidani Park, known for its vibrant autumn colors, is another popular spot for leisurely walks and picnics. The island is also home to various wildlife, including the playful Miyajima deer. These friendly deer roam freely around the island and are a symbol of good fortune in Japanese culture. Visitors can interact with the deer and even feed them, creating memorable experiences.

Local Cuisine

No visit to Miyajima is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. The island is renowned for its fresh seafood, particularly the Hiroshima-style oysters. These plump and juicy oysters can be enjoyed grilled, fried, or even in a savory oyster hotpot. Other local specialties include the famous Momiji Manju and Anago Meshi, a delicious dish made with grilled conger eel.


Miyajima is a treasure trove of cultural and natural wonders, offering a unique glimpse into traditional Japan. Whether you are exploring its historical landmarks, immersing yourself in local customs, or savoring the delicious cuisine, Miyajima promises an unforgettable experience. Plan your visit to this enchanting island and discover the magic of Miyajima for yourself.