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An autumn stroll through Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima

Writer : makoa187jp

Hiroshima Prefecture is home to the stunning tourist spot and World Heritage Site, Miyajima. It is easily accessible with frequent ferry service available for pedestrians as well as cars. You're sure to see a number of other tourists armed with their cameras, too; it is a World Heritage Site after all. As you ride the ferry you can look out at the oyster farms as you feel the sea breeze blowing on your face. After about 10 minutes you'll see the famous torii, or Shinto shrine archway, to you right signaling your arrival at Miyajima.

On your way to Itsukushima Shrine you will pass through the Omotesando Shopping Street; it's a great place to purchase souvenirs such as the area's famous momiji manju (maple leaf shaped cakes), and wooden rice scoops. The Giant Miyajima Rice Scoops, which are an impressive 7.7 m long, 2.7 m wide, and weight 2.5 t, are a popular sight that will have you snapping photos in awe!

I looked up at the Grand Torii Gate floating on the water. As it was almost low tide, there wasn't much water below it, but it was a magnificent site nonetheless.

I paid the 300 yen admission fee to enter the temple and excitedly made my way towards it. The red pillars were simply stunning

It was a shame the tide was out, but even so I would have liked a chair or something to sit on to gaze out at its majestic presence for a while longer.

I finally arrived at the main shrine and high stage, both of which were located above the water!

Adjacent to Itsukushima Shrine you'll find Daishoin Temple and Momijidani Park. The park, which is famous for its breathtaking autumn scenery, did not disappoint!

Red and yellow leaves surrounded me on all sides, and as I walked through nature's tunnel the fallen leaves crunched under my feet. It made for a pleasant stroll indeed.

The gorgeous view from the tea house up the mountain.

I took the Miyajima Ropeway, a small 6-person gondola, from up behind Momijidani Park. The view was stunning, the experience exhilarating!

After I got off the ropeway, I began to head back to where I started. I was lucky enough to make friends with some deer on the way, too.

A large ginkgo tree and the 5-story pagoda. The contrasting colours were magnificent!

Hiroshima is known for its momiji manju, but now you can even enjoy them coated and deep fried! I ordered one with red bean paste filling and one with custard. Nice and crunchy on the outside, they were even better than I'd anticipated! I sat inside and enjoyed my treats with a complementary cup of Japanese tea. I highly recommend this spot!

Oysters are another Hiroshima specialty! There are numerous shops selling them along Omotesando Shopping Street if you’re looking to indulge. Freshly cooked, juicy, and full of flavor! You won’t want to miss this perfect opportunity to try them.

Low tide meant that I was able to walk right up to the Grand Torii Gate and see it up close.

To get to Miyajima's Itsukushima Shrine, first take a 25-min ride on the Sanyo Main Line from Hiroshima Station to Miyajimaguchi Station. It's another 5-min walk to the ferry from the station, and a 10-min ferry ride until you arrive. Two ferry companies operate between Miyajimaguchi and Miyajima Island; the JR ferry and the Miyajima Matsudai Kisen. You can use your JAPAN RAIL PASS to ride the JR ferry.

Peak viewing season for Itsukushima Shrine’s autumn leaves is in late November.

Miyajima Tourist Association(English)