Fun things to do in Miyajima

  • View from Mount Misen
    View from Mount Misen
    by Rabbityama
  • Itsukushima Shrine
    Itsukushima Shrine
    by bebejepang
  • Itsukushima Shrine
    by Ewingjr98

Most Viewed Things to Do in Miyajima

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Tahoto (Two-Story Pagoda)

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 30, 2014

    The Tahoto, Two-Story Pagoda, was constructed around 1523. Originally a Buddhist Temple, it was converted to a Shinto Shrine during the Meiji Restoration. The pagoda is surrounded with cherry trees, making it a good local spot for hanami in the springtime.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Senjokaku (Toyokuni Shrine)

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 30, 2014

    Toyokuni Shrine is said to be the size of 1,000 tatami mats, hence the name Senjokaku, literally "pavilion of 1,000 tatami mats." Built in 1587, the building was originally intended to be a Buddhist library, but it was later dedicated as a shrine to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the unifiers of Japan in the 16th Century. Construction is said to have been stopped after 11 years, and the building was never completed or painted.

    Toyokuni Shrine stands on the small hill next to the Five-Story Pagoda and Itsukushima Shrine. From Toyokuni Shrine you have a view over the town and the ferry terminal.

    Admission is ¥100 for adults.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Miyajima's Giant Rice Scoop (O-Shakushi)

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Dec 28, 2014

    The Miyajima rice scoop was invented over 200 years ago by a monk at the island's shrine and is considered the ideal rice scoop, since the rices does not stick and the scent of the wood does not affect the rice. This has since become the model for modern Japanese rice scoops, though most are now made of plastic. Local craftsmen on Miyajima island still produce hand-made rice scoops. The Miyajima scoops are thought to bring (or scoop up!) good luck, victory in battle, wealth and safe families, so are very popular gift items at the shops on Omotesando.

    The Giant Miyajima Rice Scoop (or O-shakushi) is on display near the center of Omotesando. This giant scoop was crafted in the early 1980s over the course of almost three years. It is made of a 270-year old zelkova tree, and the scoop measures 7.7 meters in length, 2.7 meters wide, and it weighs an amazing 2.5 tons.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Miyajima Deer

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 28, 2014

    Miyajima, like the Japanese city of Nara, is home to hundreds of partially domesticated deer that congregate around the temples. Unlike in Nara, visitors are asked not to feed the Miyajima deer, whih are also a different species of deer. In Miyajima, aslo like Nara, the deer are believed to be messengers of Shinto gods, so they are revered and protected.

    The Miyajima deer are "Japanese deer" or nihonjinka, which are medium sized deer that are native cross eastern Asia from Vietnam to China. The deer at Miyajima were written about as long as 800 years ago. Today there are about 500 deer remaining on Miyajima, many of them staying mainly to the forest and avoiding people, but there are perhaps 100 who are accustomed to people and readily visible by the ferry docks, on Omotesando, and along the path to the main shrine.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Miyajima's Omotesando Shopping Arcade

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 23, 2014

    Miyajima's Omotesando Shopping Arcade, stretching about 350 meters, is the main shopping area in Miyajima. Since it lies in the main path from the ferries to the shrine, almost all visitors to the island traverse this street. During our visit, we stopped at about a dozen stores buying beer, jewelry, wooden gifts, and oysters.

    During the Edo Period (1603-1868, this section of the island was reclaimed from the sea. It became the town's main street recently in the Showa Period (1926–1989). Omotesando means "front approach," literally the main path to the shrine. In Tokyo there is another famous street called Omotesando, which is the main approach to the Meiji Shrine.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Miyajima Oysters

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 19, 2014

    Hiroshima is the largest producer of oysters (or kaki) in Japan, producing 60-70% of the country's oysters harvested by about 400 oyster farmers. The local oyster industry dates back to the 16th Century, and they gained national fame in the Edo Period. In the earliest days oyster farmers would place bamboo rafts in the mudflats to give the oysters a place to anchor themselves. Today most oyster cultivation is done in floating wooden or bamboo rafts suspended over the mud flats.

    Processing facilities line the rivers in Hiroshima, and on a boat tour you can see piles of scrap shells remaining after the oysters have been shucked.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Visit Hiroshima

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 18, 2014

    Hiroshima was established in 1589 as a castle town for a feudal lord. After the Meiji Restoration, the town of Hiroshima thrived, becoming an urban center and important port. From 1894 to 1895, the imperial government even moved to Hiroshima during the First Sino-Japanese War, underscoring the importance of the city. Near the end of World War II, Hiroshima became the first city in the world to be targeted and destroyed by an atomic weapon. The bomb completely decimated the city center, instantly killing some 80,000 people, with the total number of dead by the end of the year as high as 166,000 people.

    Today the main attractions in the city are the sites associated with the Atomic bombing, including the A-Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Park. Other area to visit include the Hiroshima Castle site, and historic Shukkei-en Garden. Not far south of Hiroshima is the famous "floating" temple at Miyajima. Hiroshima is also famous for its okonomiyaki and oysters.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Senjokaku and Pagoda

    by Rabbityama Written Oct 30, 2012

    Senjokaku, also known as Toyokuni Shrine, was commissioned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and completed in its current form in 1587. It was never completed because Toyotomi Hideyoshi died, and that's why it is open with no walls. This is the original structure and the art inside on the ceilings is interesting.

    Beside Senjokaku is the famous Five-tiered Pagoda (Gojunoto) built in 1407. It's very popular to find spots on the island where you can get the pagoda together with Itsukushima Shrine in the same shot.

    Entrance to Senjokaku is 100 yen.

    Senjokaku Hall Senjokaku Senjokaku Hall Five-Tiered Pagoda
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Giant Rice Scoop

    by Rabbityama Written Oct 29, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An odd site to many visitors, the giant rice scoop is one of Miyajima's famous sites, but rice scoops actually have an interesting history here. During the 18th century, a Buddhist priest had the residents of the island make rice scoops in the shape of the goddess Benzaiten's biwa (lute). They sold these to the visitors to Itsukushima Shrine as religious symbols. The word "meshitoru" means both "to scoop rice" and "to conquer one's enemy". Here, they were sold as good luck symbols (that were also practical) to help people conquer their spiritual enemies.

    The giant rice scoop is 7.7 meters long and weighs an astonishing 2.5 tons! It looks heavy but I would never have guessed it was that heavy!

    The giant rice scoop offers a nice photo op and it's free to view. You can purchase real Miyajima rice scoops, as well as souvenir rice scoops all over the island. Also, the post office has special rice scoops that can actually be sent as letters. You can send them as is within Japan, but if you send them abroad, they must be in an envelope.

    Miyajima Rice Scoop
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo

    Visit the old streets

    by Toshioohsako Updated Nov 26, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Old streets or people's living quarters which are just a hundred meters inner side from the sea. The are sometimes overshadowed the famous shrine and temples. But it is interesting to see the houses and small streets where Miyajima people live. Its also a calm area and there are some interesting shops dealing with local products.

    Was this review helpful?

  • pure1942's Profile Photo

    Senjokaku – Pavilion of the Thousand Tatami Mats

    by pure1942 Written Sep 20, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    OK, it doesn’t quite have the space for a thousand tatami mats but with a florrspace equal to 857 mats it does comes pretty close and Senjokaku is indeed one of Miyajimas most impressive buildings. Built in 1587, it is the biggest building on Miyajima and origanlly functioned as sutra repository where sutra chanting would be conducted in honour of war victims and casualties. It was the Japanese warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who financed the building of the Pavilion after unifying Japan. However, Hideyoshi Toyotomi died during the construction and even today, it remains unfinished but still well worth seeing.

    Roof of Senjokaku

    Was this review helpful?

  • pure1942's Profile Photo

    Treasure Hall – Homotsukan

    by pure1942 Written Sep 20, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Treasure Hall or Homotsukan is one the most impressive of Miyajimas buildings. The hall was constructed in 1934 for the purpose of storing and preserving the thousands of priceless artefacts and documents presented to the shrine over the ages. The hall contains over 4000 pieces with 130 listed as Japanese national and cultural treasures.
    Entry to the hall is included in the ¥500 combo ticket for the Itsukushima Shrine and Treasure Hall

    Treasure Hall

    Was this review helpful?

  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    a tree more than 1000 years old

    by globetrott Written May 16, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    These are the remains of a holy tree that is believed to be more than 1000 years old and you will find it when walking back from the Itsukushima Shrine to the village. The tree is covered by a small house in order to protect it a bit against erosion.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • dancinbudgie's Profile Photo

    Get out and meet the locals!

    by dancinbudgie Updated Feb 17, 2008

    It was too wet to wander far (especially with a baby), so we made short forays from our Ryokan, trying to see as much as possible and heading back in between sights to warm up and dry off. We also ate...a lot...from the food stalls (the cold and wet does tend to make you hungry)...it also makes for very friendly shopkeepers, so be prepared for a chat! Some of the friendliest locals were the deer...but be careful, they snatch!

    Meeting the locals
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Zirpsis's Profile Photo

    Recreation Park

    by Zirpsis Written Jun 19, 2007

    Tsutsumigaura Park has actually a beautiful sandy beach with fine white sands and a child friendly shallow stretch of waters. There are also tennis courts, camping ground and beach houses. Excellent for family recreation!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Miyajima

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

22 travelers online now

Comments

Miyajima Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Miyajima locals.
Map of Miyajima