Miyajima Travel GuideBrowse 8 travel reviews, 17 travel blogs and 1,744 travel photos from real travelers to Miyajima.
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Itsukushima, also known as the Shrine Island, and most popularly known as Miyajima, sits within the Setonaikai National Park in the Seto Inland Sea, just off the coast of Hiroshima. Perhaps most famous for the Itsukushima Shrine—a World Heritage Site—and the rugged, mountainous beauty of the island, there are very few people who actually live here. Instead, this is a place of beauty, a sacred refuge for the messengers of the gods who roam the island in the form of deer, where the maple trees stand as a testament to their inevitable will. This is easily one of the most beautiful sights in all of Japan, and it is immediately evident that there is much more going on here than just natural beauty.
Miyajima is largely pedestrianized, with cars only being allowed in the residential district and port city where the ferry lands from the mainland. This means you can only experience the interior of the island on foot. Thankfully, Miyajima is small enough that you can technically see the entire island in a day if you are fairly aggressive in your schedule, but when surrounded by such majesty, why would you want to rush? And considering the fact that most of the major tourist groups leave the island after 5 p.m. you can experience a completely different side of Miyajima after nightfall, when you are surrounded only by the locals and the deer and monkeys which roam freely. Most visitors come here to see the Itsukushima Shrine, but beyond that there are things like the Senjokaku pavilion, the Buddhist temple known as Daisho-in resting comfortably up in the hills, or the Museum of History and Folklore. Hiking up Mount Misen can afford you a birds-eye view of the surrounding sea, island, and mainland, or you can simply enjoy the Momijidani Park. Either way, there is a simple beauty and existence here, one that you will never understand until you visit first-hand.