Off the coast of Hiroshima, Japan, lays Miyajima Island, famous for its apparantly floating orange Great Torii Gate. It’s a wonderful place for a day trip, especially if you’re visiting or staying in Hiroshima.
During high tide the Torii Gate is partially submerged, revealing itself only later on towards the end of the day during low tide. At which point you can walk down and touch it.
To get here all you need to do is get to Miyajimaguchi station on the JR Sanyo line. Close by here is the ferry that goes to Miyajima Island, which only takes 10 minutes. If you have the Japan Rail Pass it’s included in that at no extra charge!
Make sure to come in during high tide so you can see it submerged, giving the illusion of floating that locals attribute to its link with the local shrine.
The rest of the island is known for its forests and ancient shrines. You can take a hike up to the top of the island, and enjoy the shrines on the way. The view from the top is well worth it, and only takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Enjoy the sound of streams rushing underneath wooden bridges in this peaceful island.
You’ll actually be following the stream upwards to its source.
Although the path is quite straight forward and well paved out, looking around you can appreciate how thick and wild the forest really is.
You’ll know you’re near the top as you are greeted by these warriors. They are called Nio or Kongorikishi, and they are the two wrathful guardians of the Buddha often seen at the gates to Buddhist temples.
Up some final set of stairs and you reach the summit! There’s a large boulder you can climb up to sit around, relax and enjoy the view!
There’s another boulder in front, which you can’t jump to due to the gap (can’t appreciate the gap in the photo!). Due to the unreachability of it, people throw coins on there and if it lands its lucky. You’d be surprised at how hard it actually is to get a coin to land and not bounce/roll off!
Don’t forget to make your way back down to see the Great Torii Gate at low tide.
As it’s such a small island, there’s a handful of stores nearby that do convenience store type food, and a bakery. Otherwise hop back onto the Ferry back to Hiroshima.
Miyajima Island is incredibly scenic and easy to fit into a day, so definitely put it on your list if you’re down by Hiroshima!