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A lifestyle blog by a London gal who loves plants, metal, bleaching my hair and Osaka

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Visiting the floating Torii at Miyajima

Itsukushima, Torii, Miyajima
If you're in Japan, Miyajima is a must do in my opinion. The island is actually called Itsukushima, but is usually called Miyajima (宮島)which literally means 'shrine island'. Miyajima is famous for Itsukushima shrine, and the Torii gate that appears to float in the water outside the shrine. 
The Torii at Itsukushima is one of Japan's 'three scenic views' (日本三景) along with Amanohashidate in Kyoto Prefecture and Matsushima bay near Sendai. It's one of my secret goals to have them all ticked off by the end of my year here. 

How to get to Miyajima:

There's also a more expensive ferry that goes from near the Genbaku dome in Hiroshima.
To get to the cheap ferry, take the tram to Miyajimaguchi (or the JR Sanyo line) and then there is a choice of two ferries that will take you there: a JR ferry and another ferry, but both are 180 yen each way.

The ferry ride is really nice! I really enjoy ferry rides anyway, so maybe I'm biased, but it was really quick and you could see the Hiroshima area and also the first glimpse of the Torii of Itsukushima shrine. When you get off, you can walk through the cute and touristy town area to the shrine, and the beach! 
Miyajima is also famous for its deer. The deer really are friendlier than those at Nara. And by friendlier, I mean they leave you alone more. You aren't allowed to feed the ones at Miyajima, which is probably a big part of the reason. The deer at Nara can get really invasive and a little scary, especially if you are holding food, in which case they'll come right in your face and bite your clothes. If you buy the deer biscuits to feed them, usually about four deer will all rush up to you... The deer at Miyajima were great in comparison. But they are still wild animals, so still be sensible.

When we got to Miyajima, we decided to go in Itsukushima shrine (entry is 300 yen) and had a look round, then got some food from a really nice restaurant in the area. I got a set meal with the area's specialities- kaki (oysters) and anago (a type of eel) and it was so tasty! Especially the eel!

After that, we walked on the beach up to the famous torii- low tide is around midday, and you can walk out and touch it, or take a selfie with it. The torii is way bigger than you think, and really impressive.

Then we decided to use the ropeway which goes to the top of the mountain, but unfortunately it was closed! The one week of the year it was closed... So, we decided to hike up to the top of the mountain. It was a couple of kilometres, so a fair walk. Well worth it though: the view was gorgeous. The inland sea is one of my favourite areas of Japan, and it's so scenic. Apparently on a clear day, you can see Shikoku too. Also, don't people always seem to be friendly when you're hiking?
There were a few shrines and temples along the walk. More disconcertingly there were quite a few warning signs about poisonous snakes, called mamushi, as well! I didn't see any, luckily. 

It was such a good day at Miyajima, and I'd go there again in a heartbeat!

Miyajima deer

Itsukushima Torii


Miyajima Torii, floating Torii

view of hiroshima

Thanks for reading!
-Amy xoxo

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