Landscape of Miyajima, Japan
Holidays to Miyajima, Japan
With spectacular views, stunning scenery and fascinating history, Miyajima is easily one of the greatest places to visit in Japan. It may be small, but it has a big impact on tourism as one of the country's most visited place. Accessible via train and ferry from nearby Hiroshima, you'll be greeted upon arrival by the island's most famous residents – the lovable miniature deer that roam the shore.
Only a few minutes later you'll witness Miyajima's star attraction – the sixth century Shinto shrine of Itsukushima-jinja. In the past, commoners were not allowed to set foot on the island, and would have to approach by boat through the shrine gate, known as a torii. During high tide, Itsukushima-jinja appears to be floating on the water, and is widely considered to be one of the best views in Japan. On one side of the spectacular shrine is a floating stage which hosts noh - a type of performance mixing dance and drama, and these shows take place every year as part of the Toka-sai Festival.
Seven wonders are located around the mountain, including Kiezu-no-hi, or the Eternal Flame. At the foot of Mount Misen, Daisho-in is one of the island's most notable temples. The Shingon building contains Buddhist imagery and a cave containing images from each of the 88 Shikoku pilgrimage temples. For more recent history, the Miyajima History and Folklore Museum is a nineteenth century museum set in a beautiful garden with exhibitions from the Edo Period.
There's lots of tasty food to be found on the island, but easily the most famous are the succulent local oysters. These are best tasted straight off a sizzling barbecue and washed down with a glass of wine. Eels are another popular delicacy and are delicious in steam buns or on rice.
See the spectacular shrine gate of Itsukushima-jinja
Admire Daisho-in, a Shingon temple near Mount Misen
Sample the island's famous local oysters
Meet the cute miniature deer inhabiting the island