Miyajima Island (also known as Itzukushima) has been a Shinto holy place for centuries and is home to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Itsukushima Shrine, a red gate (torii) rising from the water just off Miyajima’s shores. Other ancient shrines and temples speckle the island, nestled among a thick forest of maple and cherry trees.
Visit Miyajima Island’s many temples, hike through the forest, and see the views from Mount Misen. You can also visit an aquarium, peruse a small history museum, and shop for souvenirs on Omote-Sando, the island’s main street.
Most Miyajima Island day tours depart from Osaka, Kyoto, or Hiroshima. It’s also possible to visit on a multi-day tour and visit the island along with notable cities such as Okayama, Kurashiki, and Hiroshima. On Miyajima, you can explore Mount Misen on a guided walking tour or see island highlights on a rickshaw tour. Private tours are also available for a personalized experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Miyajima Island is a must-see for nature and culture lovers.
- A variety of restaurants and convenience stores can be found on Omoto-Sando shopping street.
- At low tide you can actually walk out to Itsukushima Shrine and pass through it.
- The island has public restrooms.
How to Get There
By boat, Miyajima Island can be reached from Hiroshima in less than an hour. Direct boats run from Hiroshima Peace Park and from Hiroshima Port.
When to Get There
Known for its maples and broad-leafed trees, Miyajima Island is particularly picturesque in autumn. Spring is also a good time to visit, when the island’s cherry trees are in bloom. Since Miyajima is a popular day trip destination, most visitors leave by dusk. To see the island free of crowds, stay overnight in a traditional inn (ryokan).
Where to Hike on Mount Misen
Mount Misen sits 1,640 feet (500 meters) above sea level and has three hiking trails: the Momijidani, Daisho-in, and Omoto courses. The Daisho-in trail is the easiest and offers great views along the way. Each course leads to the summit in about two hours, and you might see deer—and even wild monkeys—along the way. On clear days, it’s possible to see Hiroshima from Misen’s peak.