Called the Island of the Gods, this location an hour from Hiroshima, Japan, merged with Hatsukaichi, Japan, in 2005. Many shrines are located there, including the Itsukushima Shrine, which is one of the most photographed locations in Japan. The whole island lies within Setonaikai National Park. The locals consider the maple trees and deer to be sacred, and they exhibit great respect for both. When you venture by ferry to this remote location, you will feel warmly welcomed. You may want to plan your travels around one of this island’s cultural festivals, like their Water Fireworks Display, their musically fascinating Kangensai Festival.
What to do in Miyajima Island
There are many fascinating things to do on the Island of the Gods, including:
- Stroll along Uguisu Alley to see the cherry blossoms in late March and early April.
- Visit the Miyajima Hina Doll Exhibition spread across inns and residences to see the antique dolls from the Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa periods.
- Play in the water at the family-friendly, 700-meter-long Shizen Koen Beach at Tsutsumigaura Nature Park.
- Hike through the Misen Virgin Forest to see the beautiful maple trees.
- Take an architectural tour of the Old District to see fascinating building techniques used in very few places in the world.
- Go sea kayaking under the gerat Torii at high tide.
- Watch the sunset from Mikasano Hama Beach with the iconic Itsukushima Shrine where you can watch the torii gate change colors as the sun sinks lower in the background.
- Stroll along Machiya Street during the day to visit the galleries and the retro cafes before returning at night to see the lit-up paper lanterns.
- Take a night cruise to see the great Torii and the Itsukushima Shrine from the water as the sun is setting.
- Buy traditional souvenirs, such as rice scoops, while browsing along Omotesando Street.
- Sample the traditional candy shaped like maple leaves made from red bean paste and covered in Castella dough.
Where to stay on Miyajima Island
There are several places that you can stay on the Island of the Gods, including:
- Sakuraya – Find Japanese-style rooms at this hotel that is located a short walk from the Miyajima Ferry.
- Hotel Miyajima Villa – This hotel located very near the Five Story Pagoda offers a restaurant and a garden.
- Kikunoya – Western and Japanese-style rooms are available at this hotel located near Itsukushima Shrine, with breakfast and dinner served daily.
- Miyajima Coral Hotel – Centrally located near the Miyajima Guchi Station, this hotel offers a restaurant serving homemade noodles and a Japanese tea lounge featuring snack-type foods.
- Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto – This hotel located near Itsukushima Shrine features outdoor hot springs and three restaurants.
- Miyajima Hotel Makoto – This hotel located very near the Miyajima Pier offers karaoke, a souvenir shop and traditional Japanese-style breakfasts and fresh seafood dinners at night.
- Nakaya B&B – Located near Machiya Street and very near the Omotesando Shopping Arcade, this bed, and breakfast is located in a Japanese-style home built in the 1970s.
- Tsusumigaura Nature Park – Choose between renting a tent or a cabin when you stay at this nature park.
- Jukeiso – This accommodation in a traditional ryokan with an outside bath.
How to get to Miyajima Island
The only way to get to this island is by boat. You can take the 10-minute ferry ride leaving from the Miyajima Ferry Pier in Hiroshima. The pier is easily accessed from the Miyajimaguchi Train Station. The other choice is to take the charter boats, which can easily be accessed at Hiroshima Peace Park.