Miyajima is a small island off the coast off Hiroshima and is most famous for it’s ‘floating’ torii gate and shrine. The shrine is built on wooden foundations in the water, so when the tide is up, it literally appears as if it is drifting on the sea.
It was softly raining on the day we went, creating a beautiful misty mountain backdrop to the busy town. We walked along the shrine’s open platforms, taking in the view of the sea. We stopped every now and again to take photos and to read the wishes people had written and hung up in hope that they would come true.
We then took a walk up the mountain path, eventually being invited for tea outside a small shop. The view from above was even more beautiful, and we sat for a while taking in the sea air with the warm tea bowl in between our hands.
The smell of freshly baked momiji manjuu (a leaf-shaped confection) lead us on as we descended back down again and explored what the town had to offer. We walked through the busy streets, stopping to admire the local wares. I don’t usually buy souvenirs, but a beautiful little Japanese style tea-cup imprinted with autumn leaves caught my eye and I couldn’t help myself.
The feel of the town was lively and the shopkeepers chatted with kind voices and forgave our gaijin ways with a smile on their faces.
Miyajima is a charming little town, which is easy to reach by ferry boat. There’s lot’s to do and see, from stroking wild deer to riding a cable car between the mountains. For a tourist spot, prices are sort of reasonable, which is always a plus. The torii gate is an iconic image of the beauty of Japan, making it a must-see for ‘quintessentially-Japanese’ photo addicts like me.