Belle Michelle
Itsukushima shrine

Japan: Miyajima & Itsukushima Shrine

One of the days we spent in Hiroshima was spent taking a boat excursion to the island of Miyajima to see the Itsukushima Shrine, a giant red Torii gate which appears to be floating in the sea…

To get to Miyajima, we caught a boat from Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima (pretty much right outside the Atomic Bomb Dome), which took about 40 minutes or so.

Boat to Miyajima from Hiroshima

The boat dropped us off, and we set out to explore the island. Behold, a map:

Beach at Miyajima and Itsukushima shrine

Some shots walking along the coast to where the Itsukushima Shrine is – it was actually a really hot and sunny day, but my photos make it look like it was really overcast (don’t know what’s going on there).

Map of Miyajima Torii gate at Miyajima Beach at Miyajima

There were loads of deer just wandering around. They were really tame, being around tourists who feed and pet them constantly. I saw one steal and eat a paper map out of a man’s back pocket, which made me laugh a lot 😀

Itsukushima shrine Deer and tourists wandering around

This one was just chilling on the beach.

Deer relaxing on beach at Miyajima Entrance to Itsukushima shrine viewing area

The Itsukushima Shrine is hard to miss – the tide was up at the time we went but apparently at low tide you can walk out to it.

Itsukushima shrine

I split off from the others and had a stomp around the island. There were lots of interesting buildings and streams and trees to look at, and views of the Itsukushima Shrine from various angles.

Miyajima stream Miyajima stream and buildings Itsukushima shrine Top of Itsukushima shrine View of Miyajima

I had a little walk through Omoto Park – away from the tourists, it was just me and the deer 🙂

Omoto Park Stream and bridge in Omoto Park

Before I dropped dead from walking around in the sun, I needed to see the five-storied pagoda sat atop a hill. It was worth the climb.

Five-storied pagoda at Miyajima Five-storied pagoda at Miyajima

You can just about see the top of the Toyokuni Shrine (Senjokaku) up on the hill here, which is apparently the biggest building on the island. It was pretty big, I couldn’t get a decent photo of it up on the hill! ‘Senjokaku’ means ‘Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats‘ because that’s apparently how many tatami mats could fit on the floor inside.

Senjokaku (Toyokuni Shrine) up on hill

I would have liked to go explore more of the island, but it was really hot and time was running out to get back to the boat unfortunately. I did pick up a drink called ‘Match’ from a vending machine for the boat ride back, which managed to both quench my thirst and make me laugh with its strapline. Let’s vitamin!

Torii gate at Miyajima