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Miyajima (Itsukushima Shrine)

[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

After arriving at Miyajima, take a short walk to see the floating red gate. This is the most famous Torii gate of Itsukushima shrine.
The floating Torii gate at Itsukusima shrine in Miyajima

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.
Noh dance on a wedding day on the stage of Itsukushima shrine The floating torii gate at Itsukusima shrine in Miyajima

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.

There is an observation deck at a height of 400 meters. You can go there by ropeways while appreciating the marvelous views of Seto Inland Sea.
The view from Mount Misen in Miyajima

To get to the mountaintop, you will have to climb an additional 30 minutes, but it is definitely worth it. From the mountaintop, you can see as far as the Hiroshima City.
The view from Mount Misen in Miyajima

3. Three paths to walk down from the mountaintop

Daisho-in walking course in Miyajima

Mount Misen offers three hiking trails: The Daisho-in course, the Momijidani course, and the Omoto course.

Daisho-in 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.
Daisho-in walking course in Miyajima

Momijidani 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.
Momijidani course at Mount Misen in Miyajima

Omoto 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.
The Komagabayashi rock at mount Misen in Miyajima

Hours Open:
Itsukushima Shrine 6:30 to 18:00. Ropeway 9:00 to 17:00.
Itsukushima Shrine 300 yen. Ropeway 1000 yen (one way), 1800 yen (round trip)