A short train journey away from Hiroshima city is the beautiful island of Miyajima. Our trip to this island started off with one minor misjudgement. We stayed in the nearest hostel to the ferry port, a clean and friendly place but miles and miles away from anything! This might sound like an exaggeration but I assure you it’s not. We ignored the advice of “there’s nothing here” and set off on a late night walk in search of a bar. After 90 minutes of walking in a straight line we still hadn’t seen a convenience store, let alone a bar or restaurant. Thankfully a taxi driver spotted us and helped us get to where we needed to be – a journey that would have taken us at least another hour or so of walking!
With that in mind, if you decide to visit Miyajima and would like to stay the night then I’d definitely advise on paying the extra money to stay on the island itself. I’ve heard that the many ryokan on the island offer a beautiful evening with unbeatable scenery and as peaceful an atmosphere as you could hope for.
Perhaps the only thing that could interrupt the evening would be a rogue deer – one of the many that wander freely around the island. The deer are incredibly friendly and you’re perfectly safe around them, however do your best to keep your belongings close. Endless maps and a worrying amount of banknotes are consumed by these determined furry fiends every day.
At the time of visiting the weather was overcast but even that wasn’t enough to take the charm away from the famous floating Torii gate (regarded as the third best site in Japan). The island has so much more to offer than just the gate but for those looking for that magical photo to show to folks back home, this is where you’ll want to be.