Miyajima is an island just an hour by tram (to its last station) from Hiroshima Station. It takes 30 minutes via JR Line Train. From the last tram station, I took a huge ferry to the island for ten minutes.
Miyajima Island is Japan’s third most visited tourist attraction. Here, you’ll see the reason what most tourist come for: the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This a huge vermillion- colored O-Torii (Grand Gate) has been standing in the sea for years, since 1875!
In low and high tide, the Grand Gate is a symbol of Shintoism, an ethnic religion in Japan.
On a clear day, it’s very photogenic. It’s a very common postcard picture anywhere in Japan and it’s in every tourist maps, books, videos about Japan. Even the ultimate guide book, [easyazon_link asin=”1742204147″ locale=”US” new_window=”yes” nofollow=”default” tag=”pridecostume-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”yes” popups=”yes”]Lonely Planet /easyazon_link] carries a photo of it.
Unfortunately, I went there on a shitty day where the heavy clouds totally spoiled it. I was in the mood for camwhoring but the weather wasn’t really cooperating. It is indeed photogenic! I can imagine that. I was the only tourist who took off his shoes and waded into the sea and took a shot of the O-torii in the opposite side. That’s how determined and dedicated I am. LOL…
Fortunately, it was low tide so people had the chance to really get a bit close to this monstrous gate.
About two hundred meters from this torii, is the Itsukushima Shrine which I really wonder of wonders why it was designated as UNESCO World Heritage. It’s not really that different from other temples in Japan I’ve been to. It’s historical significance, maybe?
I stayed in the island for 6 hours. I walked up to the mountains and walked and walked and walked. There are temples around but, hello, I don’t wanna see more temples after almost two weeks of backpacking in Japan.
At the last hour of my stay, I sat down in front of the O-Torii and waited for the next ferry back to Hiroshima.
And here’s one thing about Miyajima Island: No deaths and births are allowed in the island, especially near the Shrine. I was told that pregnant women who are about to deliver should be in the mainland days before the expected birth date. And it goes the same with deaths.