[YOUTUBE] Miyajima | Itsukushima shrine and Mount Misen
What is Miyajima?
Miyajima is a small island located in the southwest of Hiroshima city.
The island is most famous for Itsukushima shrine and its giant Torii gate. At high tide, the gate looks like it is floating on the water. This sight is counted as one of “Three views of Japan” along with Matsushima in Miyagi, and Amanohashidate in Kyoto.
The shrine is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What to see?
1. Itsukushima shrine and its floating Torii gate
Despite the appearance, the gate is actually standing on the ground under the water. At low tide, you can walk to the gate and see it up close.
The Itsukushima shrine itself may not be as interesting as the Torii gate, but it can certainly be when a wedding is held. If you are lucky to be here on someone’s wedding day, you will witness traditional Noh dance and music performed on the stage in the shrine.
2. Amazing views from Mount Misen
While the Torii gate is the most famous thing on the island, the most beautiful thing is actually the view from Mount Misen.
Mount Misen is 500 meter high, and was believed as a holy mountain.
3. Three paths to walk down from the mountaintop
Mount Misen offers three hiking trails: The Daisho-in course, the Momijidani course, and the Omoto course.
The Daisho-in course has the most pleasant views, while not as steep as the other two. If you are a first-time visitor, or wearing normal shoes, this course is highly recommended. It takes 45-60 minutes to climb down, 90-120 minutes to climb up. You can also stop by the Daisho-in temple in the middle of this course.
The Momijidani course is the shortest of all three. It takes 45 minutes to climb down, 90 minutes to climb up. Be careful! The shortest course means it is the steepest. You should have a pair of climbing boots to use on this course.
The Omoto course is the longest one of all three, and the only course where you can stop by the “Komabayashi rock”. The view from the rock is as breathtaking as the view from the mountaintop. It takes more than 1 hours to climb down, 2 hours to climb up if choosing this course.