I visited Miyajima last fall but I did not have yet time to upload the pictures I took and share them. It is one of my favorite places in Japan, it is near Hiroshima and you can visit Miyajima easily staying in a hotel in Hiroshima and taking the ferry. But the option I took I think it is much better, I stayed in a hotel in the Miyajima island. Staying in Hiroshima is boring so I would suggest to stay in one of the hotels-ryokans in Miyajima and enjoy the island when it is quiet. During the day Miyajima is filled with tourists coming with the ferry for daily trips. But during the night there is not much people in the island and you can enjoy walks next to the sea, bothered only by deers and tanukis and enjoying views like this one:
Miyajima (宮島), also known as Itsukushima (厳島), is a little sacred island. It has tons of Shintoist shrines and some Buddhist temples. The whole island is considered to be sacred land and in fact the name says it Miyajima (Miya宮: sacred shrine, jima=島：island).
The island in itself is a Shinto shrine, many Gods live in the island and some people even consider that the island is a God. It is not allowed to die or give birth in the island, animals can’t be killed in the island and trees can’t be chopped. In fact there are tons of monkeys, deers and tanukis wandering freely in the island. Shinto tradition considers deers as God messengers.
The most famous shrine in the island Itsukushima, a world heritage. It is considered one of the most beautiful sceneries in Japan and also in the whole world. It was built more than 1.500 years ago and of course it has been rebuilt many times. The big torii gate is the most photographed part of the shrine, when the tide is low you can even walk until the door.
In the old times it was not allowed to walk on the island, that is why the Itsukushima temple is all built above the water of the sea in the beach like a pier. To enter the island a little boat passed by the torii gate to purify and enter the sacred territory. The torii gate is 16 meters tall and it is designed to be able to resist typhoons.
This are some of the pictures I took in Miyajima last fall:
My friend Albert and me in front of the famous torii gate.
Mini-shrine I found in a hidden beach.