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My visit to Hiroshima was one of the highlights of my trip to Japan, especially to Itsukushima Island which is popularly known as Miyajima Island. As soon as I stepped from the ferry to the island I knew it was my happy place.

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We arrived to the ferry terminal by coach however it is easy enough to take the train from Hiroshima station to Miyajimaguchi station which takes about 30 mins. Then onto the ferry which takes about 10 mins across to Miyajima Island. It was 10 mins of stunning beauty on a perfect day.  As the ferry approached Miyajima Island, the great floating Torii came into sight…and what a beautiful sight it is.

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Miyajima Island is one of the most scenic spots in Japan. It is a romantic and historical island where the Ituskushima Shrine, a World Heritage site, is located, along with many preserved shrines, temples and historical monuments.

The island originally takes its name because of Itsukushima shrine and subsequently Miyajima which literally means Shrine Island.

The floating torii was the entrance gate for this shrine, once accessed by boat directly to the shrines own pier. The shrine is, of course, very much an icon of Japan. At low tide you can walk out to its base.
The historic Torii Gate sits mystically on the sea.  The floating Torii gate is one of the most popular photo attractions in Japan,

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I had seen pictures of Miyajima but nothing could quite prepare me for the beauty of the actual experience. As we approached the gate from the shore, walking along the tourist shops and gently fighting off the perpetually hungry deer we were transfixed by the astonishing magnificence of the site. It is one of the world’s greatest spiritual artistic achievements

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A visit to Miyajima provides many pleasures, cultural, religious, scenic, enjoyment of the “wild” deer on the island, beach time, hiking, eating, shopping, and tram/ropeway

The island is small yet magical with temples, pagodas, shrines and many nature tracks you can visit. The temples, pagodas, and shrines are lovely. The place is very special  –  you can easily spend the whole day there, or stay over and enjoy everything at your leisure.

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There are loads of white tail deer around the island; you will see them outside the ferry terminal when you first arrive and along the way to the torii shrine and temples.  Although they are wild, they are tame and friendly. It reminded me of the Nara Deer park.

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Hiroshima is famous for oysters so of course we had to stop and try them along the way. Also, many of the restaurants serve oysters.

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I totally loved our visit to this little island filled with history and beauty – the natural scenery and architecture together creates such an amazing blend of peace and tranquility.  In contrast to the emotionally fraught experience of Hiroshima, it’s a tranquil and necessary balance

What a magnificent day on this sacred Island.

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