Prior to arriving Japan, Stacey and I had discussed about getting the JR pass and where we wanted to go. Hiroshima was a must for us but after researching, we had learned about a little island called Miyajima Island.
Miyajima Island, home to Itsukushima shrine, is considered to be one of the sacred shrine to Shintoism and is voted to be one of the top three scenic place in Japan. It is a cherished piece of Japanese history dating back from 6th century.
However, the problem was we only had 7 days JR pass so we needed to make every moments count, tackling everything along the way meaning we had to do Hiroshima and Miyajima Island in one day.
After our emotional visit to Hiroshima, we took half an hour train ride to the Miyajimaguchi port where we took 10 minute ferry ride to Miyajima Island. The best thing about the ferry is that it is included with the JR pass so basically it was “free.”
It was such a peaceful, scenic ride on the ferry. That feeling of the air brushing through my hair while taking in the smell of the ocean and watching the sun radiate off the beautiful island.
As soon as we got off the port, we got hit hard by the humidity. We were literally sweating bullets but still, we pushed forward.
First thing we saw were the deer coming to greet us. We were astonished to see these majestic creatures so up close but at the same time, nervous that we could get bitten or get headbutt with their antlers.
Nevertheless, they were very friendly thieves and beggers. Beware, they can easily grab a map off your hand, take things from your backpack, or just simply even eat your clothes.
After our interaction with the deers, we finally made our way to see the Great Torii. The best time to see the Great Torii is during the high tide because that is where it stands over the water. The Great Torii is symbolized as a doorway between the spiritual world and the human world.
As we wait for the sunset over the Great Torii, we decided to explore other areas. We came across the Itsukushima Shrine, however it was closed by the time we got there so we couldn’t go in.
Even though many businesses were closed, we still walked around and explore a little bit. We came across Goju-no-to, a five story pagoda and had a little glimpse of the old town.
As the sun starts to set, it was time for us to go back so that way we can enjoy watching the sunset on the Great Torii.
Even just watching the scenary, I still had to be careful of sneaky deers.
Overall, it was a great ending to our night. We were glad that we made the time to see the Great Torii on Miyajima Island, even though we couldn’t explore the whole island.
It is highly recommended to visit Miyajima Island since it is one of the most beautiful scenic location in Japan. However, it is best to visit Hiroshima and Miyajima Island on two separate days in order to participate in more activities such as visiting Mt. Misen on Miyajima Island.
Overall, it was a perfect transition from Hiroshima to Miyajima because watching the sunset on the Great Torii reminded me that aside from tragedy that had happened, the Japanese were still able to rebuild their lives and move on. So to me, the sunset symbolized new day is coming where we can have an opportunity to have a fresh start. Thus what a perfect ending to our day…. Or so we thought.
Stay tuned to find out what happened next….