Now we are back in Japan … in May this year.
I don’t think it matters what weather Miyajima Island provides there will always be visitors.
The island is only 50 min away with ferry from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, only 10 min walk from our hotel – we chose the more expensive option, because it was the closest and most convenient. Aqua Net is name of the company. But there is also a ferry connection from the port of Hiroshima and there is train connection to Miyajima-guch and you transfer over to a waiting ferry. Ferry ride is included in the train fare. In total this connection only take 30 min.
There is no major big hotels, most of the accommodation is what they call Japanese Guesthouse/Inns – Ryokan. They have changed a lot since my first visit to one in 1978. Many today are designer decorated and very stylish, and the prices is totally different too.
We stayed at “Kurayado Iroha”, a designer built and decorate Ryokan, just on the main street, with the traditional Japanese hospitality in a Western style. Delicate and peaceful in every little detail and with a big smile. I don’t think I have to say that every little detail was so well thought out and superb. The food was delicious. I will come back about our stay there.
Fish and seafood is excellent on the island … their specialties is eel and oysters. They sold BBQ oysters along main street … BBQ in their shells … I din’t have any, but Nancy did and she said it tasted good.
Miyajima Island, one of the most scenic spots in Japan, has long been regarded as an Island of Gods on the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. It is a romantic and historical island where Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site, is located. It’s real name is Itsukushima, an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima, which in Japanese means the Shrine Island.
The symbol of Miyajima Island is of course the O-turii Gate, also known as the Floating Gate. The Itsukushima Shrine with O-turii Gate, most be one of the most photographed objects in Japan. But the island has also a five-storied Pagoda was originally constructed in 1407, and it was restored in 1533.
The pagoda as a whole was constructed in Japanese style as evidenced by the ornamental caps of the railing posts as well as in the placement of the rafters. However, the Chinese influence can be seen. The pagoda is 27.6 meters high.
We never made it up to the pagoda, because of the rain … but you can see from where ever you are. Magnificent building. There also the old town … Machiya Dori used to be called Honmachi Suji, and it was the main street during the most prosperous era in Miyamina. And stylish modern inns and art galleries with traditional style architecture have been built.
At night, the lanterns are lit at the edge of the roofs, which gives it a different atmosphere from day time.
We did an evening cruise out the O-turii Gate after dinner, but the rain was so heavy … and it was difficult to get good images of the illumined gate – the boat took us through the gate, but at least we done it.
The island is also well known for all it’s deer that peacefully and unafraid walks with all the tourist … and anyone can interact with them. There is plenty of them and they are a part of the big picture of Miyajima Island. The deer doesn’t take any notice at all of us .. silly and stupid tourist.
“The origin of Itsukushima Shrine, from ancient times, people have sensed the spiritual sanctity of Miyajima, and have revered and worshiped the island itself as goddesses. The main shrine is said to have been constructed in 593 by Saeki Kuramoto.
The construction of the shrine began in 1168, and it is said to have taken several years to complete. The main (inner) shrine consists of 37 buildings and the outer shrine, which lay in front on both sides of the shore, consists of 19 buildings. The incredible concept for building a shrine standing in the sea was either an attempt to build the mythical Ryugu-jo (Dragon Palace) because the enshrined goddess is the goddess of the sea.
The O-Torii (Grand Torii Gate), which stands in the sea about 16.8 meters in height, is among the most well known structures of Itsukushima Shrine. The present O-Torii construction is based on the Ryobu-torii style, which is a wooden Shinto gate design marked by four supporting pillars. Its roof is thatched with Japanese cypress bark, and the entire body coated with vermilion lacquer. The four-pillar torii style is said to have been adopted when the torii was rebuilt in 1547.
The main pillars are approximately 13.4 meters tall and 9.9 meters in circumference, and the crossbeam is approximately 23.3 meters long. The O-torii is approximately 212.7 meters from the Haiden (Main Worshipping Hall) and 173. 4 meters from the Hitasaki (Front Lantern), and is supported by its own weight. The current torii, which is the eighth, was erected in 1875.” (text; http://www.miyajima.or.jp/english)
I don’t think there is a lot of crime on the island, because they don’t have a police station … only a police box.
The island is excellent for hiking – great trails around the island … and it’s very hilly. There is also Miyajima Public Aquarium, that is suppose to be very good. Wonder why we didn’t take shelter there ?????!!!
Really love our visit to this beautiful island, but I only wish the weather had been on our side.
‘After the Rain, Earth Hardens.’