Oh my goodness!! That’s one of the greatest places you can visit if you stop at Hiroshima!! You would love it from the first moment you get the ferry which takes you to the island. You can see from it the great spot of the Torii gate, with the Itsukushima Shrine in the background.
I highly recommend you to get a bicycle at the station the ferry drops you in. It is inexpensive, you will save time and most important of all, I’m pretty sure you will enjoy it. The day we visited this amazing island, it wasn’t so crowded despite of being July, so it wasn’t very difficult to move among the people. But…watch out the deers!! There are plenty of them and they like to rest and lay everywhere, so if it’s crowded just beware them.
There’s a five-stored pagoda next to Itsukushima Shrine and you can get as well inside the Hokoku Shrine located at the same small hill. Just take off your shoes and enjoy walking within its impressive wooden hall decorated with lots of special wooden carvings and paintings.
There is a commercial street on your way to the Mount Misen top from Itsukushima. It gets a point in which riding this kind of bicycle is not confortable anymore. It is time for you, if you have the plan of ascending up to the top of the Mount, to leave the bicycle in a safe place as we did next to the Momijidani, a small park with maples and a beautiful red small bridge which should be gorgeous in the colours of Autumn.
After that, you can chose either walking the trails to the top, or getting to the ropeway which takes you to the Shiishiwa station (something like 1500 yens roundway) almost at the top of Mount Misen. Walking seems much more interesting and even more when you know you can maybe see the Japanese macaque.
There are not so many hotels neither hostels at the island and they are expensive, so maybe it is better for you to get something in Hiroshima and go there to spend the day. A great time to stay at this island might be around late July or early August when the Miyajima Matsuri Hanabi takes place and there are fireworks, shows on the water and it seems gorgeous. We watched the people preparing some boats they use for the medieval show (take a look into the second pic of the post). It seems pretty romantic, and it is consider one of the three best scenic beauties of Japan. Here more info:
We stopped some minutes near the Torii again enjoying its beauty, returned the bicycle and said goodbye from the ferry to the magical city of Miyajima. What a special place it was…