Floating Torii gate miyajima island

Miyajima Island

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!

Floating Torii gate of Miyajima island as seen from ferry
The mystical floating Torii Gate comes to view from your ferry journey in

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.

Floating Torii gate miyajima island
Quite unique!

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.

Stunning Pagoda

Enjoy the sound of streams rushing underneath wooden bridges in this peaceful island.

stream waterfall
Look out for fish
Steps marking the beginning near a shrine
The climb begins

You’ll actually be following the stream upwards to its source.

Stream from the top
Stay on the path!

Although the path is quite straight forward and well paved out, looking around you can appreciate how thick and wild the forest really is.

Thick forest view
Don’t get lost in there!

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.

Nio Kongorikishi guardians
Nio guardians
Buddhist Shrine
One of multiple shrines in the temple complex

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!

Summit view from Miyajima Island
View time

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.

Miyajima Torii gate at low tide
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!

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