Yay! Miyajima Island!
It was Sunday, and the island was packed with domestic tourists. My expectations was just to see a very hot island with a great tori gate. It was hot, really hot. But, it turns out that there are so many layers of Miyajima Island that we didn’t know, despite the fact that I did a lot of blog walking and Googling.
Itsukushima is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is more popular as Miyajima Island, which means ‘shrine island’, is very famous of the Great Torii Itsukushima of the Itsukushima Shrine. When we crossed from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island, via 15 minutes ferry, we were greeted with a very beautiful island and the Great Torii itself.
Miyajima Island is also a food heaven, you just need to try those giant oysters and stroll around the street food market. I really enjoyed the street food here.
Of course, don’t forget the Great Torii Itsukushima of Itsukushima Shrine. The Itsukushima Shrine is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. O-torii of Itsukushima Shrine was constructed in 1168 and was built about 200 meters offshore. You should visit the torii during high tides, so you wan see it surrounded by the sea. During low tide, you can walk by foot to the torii.
Deers. The deer are said to be sacred and holy, and messengers of the Gods according to the Shinto Religion. There are so many deers around the island. Somehow the deers kept on prying on my diaper bag. One of them munched on Lil Berry’s diaper stash, and another one chewed on my kimono outer. They said that if you feed the dear, they will follow you around. We did not feed any deers, yet, they still followed us around. Dear, oh, Deer.
Not much? Well, we spend half a day here, there are still so much to explore from Miyajima Island. These would be in my bucketlist for the next time we visit Miyajima Island, overnight, of course!
- Stay at a ryokan!
- To the top of Mount Misen! You can go for a 2 hour hike or choose to ride the ropeway to the observation deck. The ropeway is about a 20 minute ride to the top, however there is still a bit of walking to the observation deck. I guess, we would opt for the ropeway. I am very interested to visit the Momijidani Park.
There are 3 different hiking paths to the top of the mountain, which is about an 2 hour trek:
- Momijidani course (‘Maple Valley’) with their 200 maple trees, which is best seen in autumn.
- Daisho-in course
- Omoto course
- Five-story Pagoda (Gojonoto)
Other attractions in Miyajima:
- Miyajima Aquarium
- Workshops to make your own shakushi (Japanese rice paddle) or your own Momiji Manju. You would need to RSVP at least a week in advance for joining the workshops, and you also need to have a group of at least 5 people to sign-up.
- Hand-pulled rickshaw, and many more.
Baby-friendly level: Moderate
It’s an island, so just bring your baby carrier. I did a few people who used strollers, but I highly recommend you to use a baby carrier. It would be far more flexible, since not all areas area pavement.
It’s an island, so expect it to be very windy. Stay in Miyajima at least for 1 night, so you could explore the other areas.
Stay overnight at Miyajima!