Thinking of organizing a Miyajima day trip from Hiroshima? Don’t hesitate, you will not be disappointed. The island of Miyajima is one of the most beautiful locations in all of Japan. You may have seen pictures of the iconic floating torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine. While this is the most popular attraction on the island, there is still plenty more to see and do!
This is the first place you’ll want to visit in Miyajima. If you’re on the island long enough, you can see the famous torii gate in high and low tide. Standing at 16.8 meters in height, low tide presents an opportunity for you to walk right up to the gate. It is tough to appreciate the structure’s height until you get really close!
Step inside the world famous Itsukushima Shinto Shrine for only 300 yen (500 yen if you want entry into the treasure hall). The shrine is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite being rebuilt twice, Itsukushima represents the architecture and spirituality of its initial construction. You don’t want to miss this world-class attraction.
There is a good chance you’ll run into some “famous” residents on the island. Deer in Miyajima are considered sacred and are everywhere! The animals have learned how to bow for visitors and are generally quite friendly. They are looking for one thing… “food” and that is a pretty broad term. Drop a map, wallet or JR Pass, it will be quickly devoured by deer.
A Miyajima day trip from Hiroshima is not complete without ascending Mount Misen. You have a choice on how to get to the top of this mountain, both require walking up flights of stairs. Option one is hiking from town, it will take approximately 1.5-2 hours to reach the summit. Option two is taking the cable cars ¾ of the way up. I choose this method because the day was getting late and it’s not safe to descend in the dark. The cable car costs 1000 yen for one way or 1800 yen for roundtrip tickets.
No matter which method you choose to ascend Mount Misen, you won’t be disappointed with the view. There is a chance you’ll see more deer and in rare occasions wild monkeys! The highlight of my journey up Mount Misen was Reikado Hall. This building houses a sacred flame, which is said to have been burning for hundreds of years. In this area you’ll also see little statues, each is dressed in a unique outfit. From Reikado Hall, it is only a bit farther to the summit!
Be aware of when the last cable car heads back towards town, you don’t want to hike in the dark. It is a good idea to bring water with you, hiking uphill in the summer months can dehydrate you quickly. Most importantly, take your time and savor the experience. Mount Misen is incredibly peaceful and shouldn’t be rushed!
What I Liked:
- The iconic torii gate is very photogenic. I could spend hours finding all the best angles to shoot from.
- Walking through Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Arriving at the summit of Mount Misen and taking in the amazing views.
- Miyajima is very easy to reach from Hiroshima.
Miyajima will become a highlight of your trip to Japan. It is an amazing location to take pictures and hike. The island’s close proximity to Hiroshima is convenient and easily accessible. A day trip Miyajima is the perfect way get outside the city and enjoy a more tranquil environment.
How to get to Miyajima Island:
Start your Miyajima day trip from Hiroshima Station. Catch the JR Sanyo Line for Iwakuni and stay on this train for approximately 30 minutes. Exit at Miyajimaguchi and head towards the ferry. After getting onto the boat, the ride takes around 10 minutes and offers some excellent views of Itsukushima Shrine and gate. If you have a JR Pass, the train and boat will not cost you anything!
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