Taking the train from Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi, and a ferry from Miyajimaguchi to Miyajima, I arrived around lunchtime. The train was packed, it being Saturday, which was a nice change actually. Arriving on the island, map in hand, I decided to see some of the sights at the base of the mountain prior to heading to the cable car. Navigating the streets was initially not straightforward – what appeared to be several historical places of interest on the map ended up being a walkway through a covered section of town with restaurants and novelty shops. As it was close to lunch, I decided I should get something into me, and with the local speciality being oysters I started with those – fresh off the grill. At ¥500 for three of them cooked and shucked right in front of you, they were quite good. Hiroshima is known for Oysters and yet I hadn’t had any yet, so it was nice to have the chance here.
The walk through town ended up at the Torii. It was low tide, and I wandered out to the Torii to see it close up. Their were crowds of people around it, as well as many people (fisherman?) digging through the sands just at the waters edge, presumably looking for oysters and other shellfish.
I continued my walk through the town taking in the shrine and pagoda, before heading up to the cable car towards Mt. Misen.
The ride up takes about 30 minutes and is done in two sections. Arriving at the top presented a good vantage point to view the city below and city/landscapes in the distance.
From the cable car platform, it was another 700m hike up (and down and up) and 150m in elevation before heading arriving at a temple area. It was a good place to rest and take everything in. Another 300m hike upwards, and you arrived at the observation platform atop Mt. Misen. On a clear day, the view would have been spectacular – it wasn’t a clear day. The view was still worth the climb, however. Returning the way I had come (I wasn’t planning on walking down), Miyajima was very quickly winding things down with most of the shops and restaurants closed. I snapped some more photos of the torii and started walking towards the ferry docks looking for an open restaurant to grab a snack.
There wasn’t much open, but what was was serving up oysters – this time I got some battered and fried, and sat down for a break. It was getting darker, and after checking the ferry schedule I decided to head out. As I emerged from the town I noticed that the torii had been lit up from shore – and decided that I should take a few photos while I had the chance. Who knows if or when I’ll be back.
While Miyajima might at first glance seem a bit touristy, there’s actually a lot of character to the old town. If I get the chance to go again, I plan to try and stay the night.