Paige and I took a quick day trip over to Miyajima, formally known as Itsukushima, literally translates to "shrine island" in Japanese. It is primarily known for it's floating torii gate, ranked one of the 3 best views in Japan. After a quick 45 minute trolley ride and a 10 minute ferry ride, we were greeted by deer walking freely all over the island. Right away, one came up to Paige and tried rummaging for food in her purse. #nosydeer #butstillcute The deer on the island are though of as sacred in the native Shinto religion because they're considered messengers of the gods.
A quick walk through the stall lined streets of Miyajima, over to the famous torii floating gate.
After our 10 minute walk from the ferry, we came upon the stunning floating torii, standing 16 meters high (52 feet). It was beautiful, just like all the pictures I had seen before - seeming to float on top of the water. Easy to see why this is one of the most visited tourist spots in all of Japan. The gate has been in place since 1168,but the current gate was built in 1875, made up of decay-resistant camphor wood.
To the left of the main shrine on the island, Isukushima Shrine, there is a brightly colored Five-Storied Pagoda, built in 1407. and Senjo-kaku.
We took in the famous floating torii, and then headed over to Itsukushima Shrine. The Itsukushima Shrine was built at the end of the 6th century, and is built in the coast because the whole island is believed to be where God dwells. So it appears to float on the water, separate from the sacred island, so it could be approached by the devout. The purity of the shrine is very important and since 1878, no deaths or births have been permitted near it - even pregnant women who are close to delivery, and the terminally ill and elderly have to retreat to the mainland so they're not near it when the time comes.
The bright colors of the the shrine against the backdrop of the blue sea and green forest remind visitors of the beauty of Japan. #iagree The shrine consists of multiple buildings like a prayer hall, main hall, and noh theater stage, all connected by wooden boardwalks above the sea.
Gorgeous views of the torii gate from the Itsukushima Shrine.
After our walk around the Itsukushima Shrine, we headed back towards the ferry and to try some of the local food. We got to try some delicious BBQ oysters, washed down with some local beer. We got to sets, one with butter and soy sauce, and one with olive oil and basil. They were super yummy and a perfect afternoon treat! Also tried some local pastries, shaped like maple leaves and filled with different flavors. We tried chestnut and sweet potato #mmmm
We were supposed to spend another night in Hiroshima, but we decided to head to Kyoto a night early for some fun! Read up on the next blog!
Follow in our Footsteps:
Access Miyajima Island
From Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (26minutes). Then, take the ferry from Miyajimaguchi to Miyajima Pier (10 minutes. cost 180 yen each way). Total travel time: approximately 40 minutes.
Japan, 〒739-0588 Hiroshima Prefecture, Hatsukaichi, 宮島町1−１
Hours: 6:30am - 6pm (Mar - mid-Oct); 6:30am - 5:30pm (mid-Oct-Nov, Jan-Feb); 6:30am - 5pm (Dec)
Fee: 300 yen
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!