Miyajima - so much more than the ToriiMay 24, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C
Travel planning is exciting, but also requires time and research. We had set Yakushima island all the way down South and Kamikochi, a place somewhere North of Tokyo in the Japanese alps, as must-dos which left us with just a long weekend in between. A weekend that we wanted to fill with places worthwile to see.
Miyajima seemed like a place not to be missed. It's labelled one of the three most scenic views in Japan (https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2250.html), a sacred island featuring the floating torii (a gate floating in the sea during hightide) and the famous Itsukushima Shrine. As it is easily accessible by a 15min ferry ride (free with a JR pass), we decided to go - along with hundreds of others.
Luckily, as with many places in Japan, the crowds vanish if you do so much as walk around the corner. So we skip the shrine and keep on going to the East where we hike up Mt. Misen via the Omoto path. Be ready for hundreds of stairs to climb the 600m elevation! Our legs are still a bit sore from our Yakushima adventure, but the hike is short and the view from the top is worth it. Curious what else we might discover, we descend via the Daisho-in temple. This Shingon sect temple (a branch of esoteric Buddhism in Japan) features so many beautiful sights, we could have spent hours here. It's almost closing time though, so make our way back to the now not so crowded shopping street, passing countless tame deer in the streets. It's quite a sight, seeing them cheekily pulling on clothes, eating info pamphlets or sunbathing on the beach. Wildlife that's not so wild anymore...
We opt for a local craftbeer from Miyajima brewery (delicious!) and finish our day with some more people watching while the sun slowly descends, turning everything into a golden light.
Miyajima is so much more than the torii; if you visit, make sure to explore!Read more