Japan Trip Recap: Day 4- Miyajima Island

Getting to our destination on Day 4 of our Trip to Japan took several modes of transportation, but that didn’t stop us. In order to get to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima we had to take a street car to a train and then catch a quick 10 minute ferry ride. Luckily, we made all the connections without waiting too long so the full commute took us less than an hour which wasn’t bad at all.

Miyajima is a walkable island with a good amount of sites to see in close proximity to each other. We picked a very hot and humid day for our visit. Kim, Lucas and I really liked the island and are glad we added it to our itinerary.

Here are some of the things we did:

  • Photos with the island’s four-legged residents
  • The Floating Torii and Itsukushima Shrine
  • Tasting a new sea creature for lunch
  • Ropeway (cablecar) ride up to the observatory on Mt. Misen
  • Quick stop for photos at Goju-no Tou, 5 story pagoda

One of the tame deer

I was looking forward to our visit to Miyajima when I heard there were tame deer around the island. When we got through the ferry building, the first thing we saw were some deer hanging around. Most of them were sitting and relaxing while a few others walked around looking for food from tourists. My first impression were that these tame deer were really lame deer.

Later on we saw a large tour group taking a photo. There was a bunch of deer joining in, probably hoping for some handouts. When the photo-op was done I decided to walk by to check out the deer. This time Lucas’ stroller came under attack. One of the deer decided to eat a Singapore Airlines gate check tag hanging off the stroller as a snack!

I actually expected to see a lot more deer than we did while wandering around Miyajima. Either way, they were fun to see and made things more interesting while walking around.

Floating Torii Gate
The main attraction on Miyajima is the floating torii of Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The torii was visible as our ferry approached the island which was really cool to see. Once we arrived, we headed right over to see the famous torii. Luckily for us, it was low tide and we were able to get pretty close. Some people were walking in the shallow water right up to the gate. As we took photos, the tide slowly came in. As the water level rose, the torii started to take on the appearance of floating in the water. We stopped by again before heading back to Hiroshima and the water was about 6-7 feet deep.
We also visited the Itsukushima Shrine which is directly across from the torii gate. The shrine was nice and worth a visit but nothing too exciting. The best part of visiting the shrine was getting another great view of the torii gate!
Eel aka Unagi
For lunch, we did some window shopping before making a decision on where to eat. Some of the restaurants cooked oysters and other things out front. While walking by one place, the smell of an unfamiliar item caught our attention. When I went closer to check it out, I noticed that it was grilled eel. Kim and I ordered the grilled eel dish and something else to share. The eel was really tasty but the texture was a bit odd.
We both liked the dish but I’m not sure that I’d go out of my way to order eel again.
The Ropeway

We were planning to go to the top of Mt. Misen for views of the island but it was an extremely hot day out and not the best idea while traveling with a toddler. We took the ropeway (cable car) to a lookout and walked around a little before heading back down. Lucas liked the ride on the ropeway and the views were pretty good. I’m guessing that they are much better from the top of the mountain. The ropeway was a bit pricey and I’m not sure that it is worth the time or money unless you plan to go to the top of the mountain.

Goju-no Tu

We did a quick visit to see the five story pagoda, Goju-no Tu. There wasn’t much too see here but I love the look of these pagodas so I felt it was worth adding and stopping to see while on Miyajima Island.

If you haven’t done so already, check out posts about the first 3 days of our trip:

Keep checking back for more about our trip to Japan in upcoming posts!

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