From the Wiki:
“A torii (鳥居, literally bird abode, Japanese pronunciation: [to.ɾi.i]) is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to sacred.”
(The Great Torii Gate at high tide, It is the entrance to the Itsukushima Shrine. According to Google, this was first built in the 12th century)
Take the local JR subway to Miyajimaguchi station, which is 30 mins away from the Hiroshima station, you will arrive at the Miyajima Ferry. Two Ferry services were available at this port: JR ferry line and the Private ferry line.
I have the JR pass so I picked the JR line. According to JR’s own advertisement, the JR ferry is the closest one to the giant Torri during the ferry ride (which is true ).
But you will see it closer when you landed anyway. So it is entirely up to you to pick the ferry provider.
(JR Ferry entry and the ferry)
The Ferry will take around 15-20 mins and we arrived the island:
(Welcome, the sign said)
A lot of the review said half day is enough for this place. However, if I have time, I would love to spend a whole day here, just walk up the mountain and enjoy the natural and the ancient structure of this island.
After we get off the boat, turn right-hand side and walk to the end of the beach, the giant torii is there. Surprisingly, they also have a lot of deer here:
But no food for them through.
This giant torii is one of the top three sightseeing places in Japan. It bland itself to the natural and adds this sacred touch to the whole scene. It looks like it has been there for thousands of years since the ancient time, and welcomed those gods arrived at this place.
This Torii is so special because it actually stands on the sand by its own weight. there is nothing underneath the sand to hold it.
When its low tide, you can walk into the Torii to have a look, when its high tide, it looks like it floating on the surface of the water. But please just be aware that no seashell can be taken from the inside of the Torii because it considered as the god’s place.
The low tide on the day we arrived was 8pm. Since we need go back to Osaka that day, and the sunset was around 5pm in the afternoon, we decided to wait until as late as possible to see how far we could go.
Ropeway to Shishiiwa
During the wait, we found that there is a cable car/ropeway that going to the top of the mountain on this island and still running until 4:30pm in the afternoon. It was a bit of uphill walk to the ropeway but the view was great.
The operation hour varies from month to month. Refer to the official website for more info:
The return tickets for the ropeway is 1800 y (21 AUD) but it was totally worth the price. We highly recommend this!
We had limited time so we didn’t stop at any of the cable car changing the station and went up directly to the mountaintop, which calls Shishiiwa (獅子岩).
It was just breath stopping view:
There are numbers of hiking track from this stop and all of them will take you between 1 hr to 3 hr to return here or go down to the bottom of the mountain. It also have a famous temple for couple nearby call “lover’s sanctuary” (look at the map). I heard that the fire has been on for 1200 years? which represent the love that never end. t’s also possible to go to the summit of the Mt Misen which is the most top place on this whole island.
I was a bit regret that we didn’t allocate whole day here. oh well, we cant have everything in one afternoon right :)?
I came here because of the great “floating” torii, but I totally indulged myself into the amazing view on the top of the mountain at the end.
Miyamajinja and the great Torii
When we take the ropeway down, it was close to 5pm, so we went into the Miyamajinja, which is the main shrine/body of the great Torii and waiting for the semi-low tile before the sunset.
This Shrine is huge. It cost 250y (3 AUD) to get in, but you can also just walk on the beach without getting into the shrine during low tile. A lot of people was doing that. But this architecture is just so pretty so we still get in.
The shrine itself was built along the coastal line. So it has this super long hallway, give this great Japanese movie feel. I absolutely love it.
when the sunset, it was nearly the semi-low tile. We were able to walk a little bit closer to it.
It’s just remarkable to see in real than in the photos because it is hard to describe how incredible it is.
Oyster (Kaki) is the local delicacy. There are so many oyster (grill, deep fried etc) places along the beach and inside the little main town. however, make sure you get in before sunset because a lot of them just closed after sunset. We only find one still operating around 7pm for the grill oysters:
Be honest, I like the Tassie oyster more because this one just tastes a bit soft and salty. But its always good to try new things 🙂
Momiji sweets (the red leaf shape sweets)
This island is famous for its red leaves during autumns, so they make their local dessert to the red leaf shape.
There are so many different kinds of them in the local souvenir shop so you can just pick the one you like to try or bring home. Just for fun.
The salted water Eel (anago, the unagi is the fresh water eel):
I saw today’s news saying the eel might become protected animal because of the overfishing. If this is true I will be really really sad because Dr R and I are the big fans of eel don. We went to this old small famous Eel house just right before the ferry called Ueno.
Even during a normal weekday, we waited like 30 mins for a seat. And this place only sells eel rice. Its just those place that you come in and expecting a good eel don. It made our day and will make your day too.
- Get there as early as possible because it might take you whole day to walk around the whole island
- Check the low tile time and see whether you have the luck to walk into the great Torii during low tile
- there are a lot of traditional ryokans around, it’s not a bad idea to stay here for one night
-this is part of day 2 itinerary –