Location: Off Hiroshima in Seo Inland Sea
Time to Visit: Throughout the year
How to Reach: Reach Hiroshima by air or rail and then proceed to Miyajimaguchi Station, subsequently ferry across
Nearest Railway Station: Miyajimaguchi
Nearest International Airport: Hiroshima International Airport
Time required for visit: 2 days
Miyajima Island is itself worshipped as a god in Japan. It is the home of Itsukushima Shrine which has a history of over 1400 years. Miyajima in Japan is a sacred destination for both Buddhists and Shintos. Miyajima holy island located off the coast of Hiroshima city is enchantingly wonderful in the early morning. The bright vermillion gateway, against the backdrop of emerald green hill slopes shrouded in early morning mist rising from the sea make Miyajima Island mystical. Give yourself up to the extraordinary serenity of this mesmerizing Japanese island.
The island of Miyajima is highlighted by the Misen San Mountain which rises to a height of nearly 1740 feet (530 meters). From the top of this mountain you get an alluring view not only of Miyajima Island but also of the distant Shikoku mountain ranges and Seto Inland Sea. Near the summit you will come across the Gumonjido temple set up in 9th century AD by sage Kobo Daishi. You will find a flame inside the temple which has been burning since it was dedicated to the people. Though you may reach the mountain top in cable cars it is advisable to trek the stretch. The forested paths are magical and take you back to the times of Kobo Daishi. Take the Omotho path, as this is the most attractive and enables to view domesticated deer in the woods.
The Itsukushima Shrine originally built in 593 AD and later reconstructed in 1168 is a unique construction and gives the impression of a floating memorial from a distance. You enter the shrine through an ‘Otorii’ or gateway of 16 meters erected in the sea. Made from camphor tree trunks and weighing around 60 tons, the gateway is nearly 600 years old and stands without any support. Inside the Honden or main sanctuary pay your respects to the three goddesses. The roofless stage, Hirabutai, supported by about 240 stone columns is marvelous. It represents a garden in the form of ‘Shinden Zukuri’ architecture. The ‘Takabutai’ or High Stage is of particular significance. ‘Bagaku’ a traditional form of Japanese dance with the accompaniment of music is performed here. You will be interested to note that this dance form was introduced to this shrine from Kyoto almost 800 years ago. Also visit the ‘Kairo’ or corridor, ‘Noh Butai’ or Noh Stage, and the ‘Soribashi’ or arched bridge when you visit Itsukushima shrine.
Food and Craft of Miyajima
When you visit Miyajima enjoy their conger eel and fresh oyster preparations. Their rice cakes are yummy and maple leaf shaped sweet-bean buns are delicious. According to local belief the rice cakes increase your strength manifold. Collect hand crafted colorful scoops, earthen bells, and Miyajima engravings and turnery works.
Accommodation in Miyajima Island
You will be not out of place in Miyajima in Japan. There are a number of comfortable hotels where you can put up according to your budget. Kisuikan, Higashiya, Mominisou, Hotel New Kotobuki, Miyajima Seaside Hotel, Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto, and Guest House Kikugawa are a few notable places of accommodation.
Access to Miyijama
Miyijama is conveniently accessed from Hiroshima. From Hiroshima airport take the limousine bus service travel to JR Hiroshima Station. Thereon travel to Miyajimaguchi Station by Sanyo Mainline railway. Proceed with your journey in a ferry to Miyajima Island which takes about 10 minutes. Alternatively, travel by street car from Hiroshima Station to Hiroden Miyajimaguchi Station and then cross over by ferry. Speed boats also ply between Hiroshima port and Miyajima Pier. <
Related Links :
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=fFwG64_BDUU&feature=related: This video catches the best that the Miyajima Island has to offer. Great sightseeing, picturesque natural beauty and beautiful people!
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=oOn_eZKSltY: This video offers you wonderful views of the Miyajima Islands.