Miyajima – 宮島
We have so far introduced several places with Majestic landscapes through our website.
Among these, the best three sites are what, from the Edo period, people call the “Nihon San-Kei”, the Tree Great Landscapes of Japan.
Today we will be talking about one of these three wonders: Miyajima, in Hiroshima Prefecture
(the other being the Miyagi’s Matsushima and the Kyoto’s Amanohashidate).
What kind of place is Miyajima?
The island’s official name is Itsukushima, but the name Miyajima has become usual these days.
Miyajima is an island located in the western part of Hiroshima Prefecture and it is one of the Tree Landscapes of Japan,
together with the Coast of Matsushima (in Miyagi Prefecture) and Amanohashidate (in Kyōto Prefecture).
Its symbol is a particularly huge torii, which is almost 16 meters tall like the one of Nara’s Daibutsu, and about 16 tons heavy.
It seems to be floating on the Inland Sea of Seto during the high tide. When the water level decreases it is possible to reach the structure basis by foot.
Watching the sunset sun entering the space among the torii’s pillars is truly amazing.
Closet to it we find the Itsukushima Shrine, which is also reached by the tide.
Beside this fact there isn’t any other particular feature distinguishing this shrine from other ones.
Mount Misen’s green on the background creates a gorgeous contrast with the Inland Sea color.
There are many shops and restaurants on the road from the ferry terminal to the shrine.
Among the Island gourmets the Kaki (oyster), and various soft-cream flavors are very popular!
By stepping on Miyajima being welcomed by some gracious deer is quite probable. Some snacks for deer are also being sold.
In Miyajima there is more than just a shrine, there is a mountain called Misen.
You can reach its peak by using a ropeway to have a 360 degrees-view on the island and the sea.
You can do it also by taking one of the three hiking paths: Momiji-dani, Taisho-in and Omoto.
How to reach Miyajima
To read about how to reach Miyajima, click here!
I reached Miyajima after a 10 minutes- journey by ferry. I was really moved by beholding the landscape from the ferry deck while the swaying movements of the boat were lulling me.
I could see the Itsukushima Shrine’s vermillion torii too. By getting closer with the ferry, you really realize how big it is.
When I got out of the terminal I was immediately welcomed by a beautiful deer.
Nara is much more famous for free deer walking around, but seeing them here next to the sea is kind of strange.
It takes 10 minutes by foot to reach the shrine from the ferry terminal. For the whole journey I have been accompanied by some deer, it has been a nice walk.
By looking toward the sea from the road one can enjoy different atmospheres, depending on the season and on the day time.
The big torii reflecting on the high tide water was impressive.
There is a uphill path before the shrine, where a wooden building called Sen-jō-kaku lays, it was built following Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s will.
The original name of the structure is Hōkoku-jinja, but due to the sizez of its halls it gets called Sen-jō-kaku (the hudred tatamis pavilion).
There is a wonderful five-storied pagoda near this building.
When I visited this place in spring it was amazing, just right as in a postcard because of pink and white cherry trees (I actually took all the pictures of this post, in different visit occasions).
Itsukushima Shrine’s spaces are connected to each other by some bridges. You can walk them relaxing in the shrine’s atmosphere.
The hiking paths start from here: by climbing a little bit I could see the whole complex from above.
Then, by walking around until the evening, I saw the sun setting behind the torii.
The orange, red clouds were reflecting in the sea with it.