Visiting Miyajima was one of the highlights of our trip, being such a diverse and interesting experience. It was like visiting a mini version of Japan, as this small island sums up all the things to enjoy in Japan in one go.
There is the Toril Gate, standing like a bastion in the bay and a beacon for visitors. The Itsukushima Shrine, itself seeming to float in the water during high tide, is one of the most important Shinto Shrines in Japan. The village is filled with beautiful shops and eateries – some shops have little factories in them, and you can see the complete production process of whatever they sell, as with the maple leaf bean paste treats here. I’ve come to realize that this is a ‘thing’ in Japan, as people pride themselves on what they do and don’t shy away from exhibiting how things work.
From the village, a nice little hike through beautiful woodland, with bridges and streams, takes you to the cable car station. Two cable car rides, one seated, and one standing in a much bigger car (in which they squeeze around 30 people, just to remind you that you are in Japan and space is an issue) and you’re almost on top of Mount Misen – but already on top of the world. Literally. The view from Mount Misen is spectacular and has been rated as one of the top three views in Japan. I personally couldn’t get enough of it and a day couldn’t have been more perfect.