Miyajima is an island that you perhaps won’t have heard of but you will definitely have seen in photographs. Located close to Hiroshima, it is the ‘postcard’ image of Japan with shrines balanced delicately over water, pagodas in misty gardens and gorgeous lakes surrounded by emerald trees. There are a number of wonderful things to see here, although it can get very busy and great care must be taken to ensure that you are respectful of the local culture as the island is of great cultural importance to the Japanese. One of the most famous artefacts is the Itsukushima Shrine (named after the traditional name for the island) which can be visited all year round, including when there are fascinating wedding ceremonies on. The Daisho-in is a wonderful Buddhist temple hidden in the forest which is well worth a visit as well.
Accommodation on the island is in the form of numerous hotels and guest houses to suit all budgets but it is best to book in advance due to the popularity of the island with both Japanese and foreign tourists. Climb Mt. Misen and have a refreshment overlooking the stunning views of the lake below.
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