A 15-minute ferry ride from the city of Hiroshima takes you to the mysterious island of Miyajima. The ride over to Miyajima is especially atmospheric during gloomy weather as you almost feel as if you are approaching Jurassic Park! Miyajima is best known for its giant torii gate which appears to be floating near the coast during a high tide. As your ferry approaches Miyajima, many will rush to the front to capture their first glance of this iconic torii gate which is also ranked as one of Japan’s most scenic views along with Matsushima and Amanohashidate.
As Miyajima is so close to Hiroshima, it makes for an ideal day trip however you could choose to enjoy the island by staying overnight in one of its many ryokan’s. Miyajima has many wild deer roaming around much like Nara which are always pleasant to see. The Itsukushima Shrine is the main must-see attraction on Miyajima island which along with the floating tori gate is an image synonymous with Japan. Miyajima translates to Shrine Island in Japanese which also demonstrates the shrines significance. During a high tide the shrine also appears to be floating and at night the shrine is illuminated which makes for an unforgettable boat cruise.
Also on Miyajima you will find Mount Misen which is the highest peak on the island at over 500 metres above sea level. There are 3 hiking trails that lead to the summit of Mount Misen however there is also a ropeway which will take you within a kilometre of the summit. The ropeway is definitely one of the longest you will experience in Japan and just as you think you are at the top, you find out you now need to change ropeways to reach the upper ropeway station!
To travel to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima Station, first take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station to reach the port. Here you will find two ferries which travel to Miyajima. If you have a JR Rail Pass be sure to take the JR Ferry to avoid paying an additional charge.