I hope everyone had a fantastic last few days. I’ve decided to skip a post about my Christmas as it was a quiet and relaxed day, and boxing day was wet and rainy with my only event being the visit to the Peace Museum here in Hiroshima. It’s a must do while in the city and it is unbelievably sad. I wish I had done it with a guide instead of the audio tape, but nevertheless it was extremely emotional.
Now onto today’s adventure; Miyajima Island. The weather was woeful yesterday so that stopped the trip in its tracks but today the sky’s were clearer and off we went. I want to preface this blog by saying Miyajima is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen to date, and that includes Hakone.
Getting to Miyajima is easy, and free if you have a JR Pass. Just jump on the train on the Sanyo Line from Hiroshima station and get off at Miyajimaguchi Station. From there it’s a straight line walk to the ferry, which luckily is also covered by the JR Pass…have I mentioned the JR Pass is great value?
The view from the Ferry dock is pretty splendid as Miyajima is literally right there but I was soon to find out that Miyajima only makes your day better once you set foot on the island itself.
Similar to Nara there are deer sitting along the road and sidewalks in most places you go but these ones are a little more aggressive and will even attempt to eat your backpack if you don’t play defence.
The most famous aspect of Miyajima is the Itsukushima Shrine, the floating shrine, and it is an easy 5 minute (at most) walk from the ferry which in itself is quite pleasant.
At high tide and in Winter the shrine is unreachable (Unless you’re a psycho) so you can only marvel at it from a distance. At low tide you can walk right out and touch it, but we’ll get to that later…
Olga and I made our way through the town and up towards the rope way which was our main aim for the day. The hike to the rope-way course is beautiful in its own right and we quickly got sidetracked following this stream up and into the forest.
Once we’d finished exploring it was time to head on up. You have several options open to you, bus (never choose bus unless you are physically forced to), hiking the mountain the entire way up (good luck with that) or taking the rope-way to at least the rope-way peak and then deciding if more hiking was your thing – and this is what we chose. It’s 1,000 yen one way, 1,800 return, and we figured we’d save some money at hike our way down again.
It was 1,000 yen very well spent!
The view is unbelievable and what we thought was an awesome trip turned out to only be the half way point…what was to follow blew our minds.
You hop on the next rope car at the midpoint station and bam…
The view only got better once you were up on the mountain itself with vantage points and quirky little information spy holes so you know what you’re looking at…
Which is where I shot this beauty…
Olga and I sat around here for a good part of an hour before beginning to make our way towards the ropeway to return home, when we heard that there was a way to reach the summit, and this wasn’t actually it…So off we went. Now I should warn anyone with bad knees, or low health of any kind this might only be a further kilometre from the rope-way, but it is 1.0km straight up, and practically everyone who attempted it was on struggle street upon arrival. The walk is spectacular from start to finish though and if you can make it, do it! You won’t regret it…I mean why else come this far right?
The view is tremendous and that is even with a rainstorm hitting us midway through our enjoyment.
We stayed until I could no longer feel my face or fingers, seriously windy up there guys! We chose to hike our way back down the hill through the park and what a scenic walk. It’s seriously beautiful from start to finish and I can’t recommend this trek enough, just maybe don’t try go up hill unless super fit or super insane, it’s literally all stairs.
Once we reached the bottom we found the shrine at low tide which was a whole new experience.
Seeing Miyajima was the most beautiful day I’ve spent in Japan and that’s saying something! With the help of our JR Pass the entire day cost us 1,000 yen, or around $11 AUD…which is ridiculous. If you’re in Hiroshima get out there and get to it, you’ll love every minute of it.