Miyajima is an island belonging to Hiroshima Prefecture’s Hatsukaichi City. The island is 30.2 square kilometers and has a population of less than 2000 people.
The most famous destination in Miyajima is Itsukushima-jinja Shrine. The elaborate shrine which stands today is said to have been built in the 12th century by Taira no Kiyomori who had power in the region at the time. During full tide, it appears as though the shrine is floating in the sea and is beautiful site not to be missed.
At the adjacent Itsukushima Shrine Treasure Hall, approximately 4500 valuable arts and crafts that were dedicated to the shrine by Heike and people in power at the time have been stored. A portion of this collection is available for public viewing and these historical materials that date several hundred years back, are wroth the look.
The street between the ferry pier and Itsukushima-jinja Shrine is lined with eateries, gift shops and inns. In particular, rice paddles attract the eye. Rice paddles that are used to serve rice are sold at nearly all the gift shops as if they were a trademark of gift shops. This area is home to the Miyajima rice paddle.
The vast nature in Miyajima is also an attraction of the area. Heading in the opposite direction of Itsukushima-jinja Shrine from the ferry pier, Tsutsumigaura Natural Park offers camping areas, barbequing areas, and swimming. Fireworks are held during the summer and it may be worth travelling to the area during that time.
Mt.Misen is located in the center of the island a visitors can reach the top by ropeway (altitude 535 meters). The Momijidani Park at the foot of Mt.Misen is also a popular spot to view fall foliage.
From Honshu Island, Miyajima can be accessed by ferry. The ferry pier is located a 5 minute walk from JR Miyajimaguchi Station. There are two companies that operate ferries, Miyajima Matsudai Kisen and JR West Miyajima Ferry, however the price is exactly the same – 180 yen one way or 360 yen roundtrip. There are other ferries available from other locations as well. From Hiroshima Port, the Setouchi Sea Line operates a ferry, and there is a ferry which goes back and forth between Motoyasu Sanbashi Bridge (a 5 minute walk from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial) and Miyajima.