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Cross the floating boundary between the human and spirit world.

Competing with Mount Fuji as Japan’s most iconic sight, the floating torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima island is the ultimate spectacular Japan photo-op – one that needs #nofilter.

Built around 200 meters offshore, the giant red gate looks as though it’s floating in the sea during high tide, while low tide lets you walk right up to touch its imposing cedar wood pillars. Nightly boat cruises pass through the gate, said to be a passage between the human and spirit world.

The best time to photograph the gate is at dusk from Hitasaki, the wooden deck at the west end of Itsukushima Shrine.

Itsukushima Shinto shrine at Miyajima

The floating gate looks especially beautiful at dusk.

While Miyajima’s proximity to Hiroshima makes it an easy day trip, an overnight stay offers the chance to experience the view in relative peace and quiet once the crowds of tourists have left the island. In the evening, stone lanterns are lit along the seafront and the traditional town takes on an otherworldly atmosphere straight out of a Studio Ghibli movie.

There are several other shrines and temples on the island concentrated around the slopes and summit of Mount Misen, the highest peak on Miyajima. A ropeway close to Momijidani station takes you to the top of the mountain, though it’s best to explore one of the easy hiking trails through the forest on foot. The Reikado (Hall of the Spiritual Flame) protects a burning flame said to be lit by Kobo Daishi around 1200 years ago and which was used to light the Flame of Peace at Hiroshima’s Peace Park.

How To Get There


Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan

By train

Miyajima is less than an hour away from Hiroshima by train or boat. The JR Sanyo Line connects Hiroshima station to Miyajimaguchi station and takes about 25 minutes. There is also a tram line bound for the same station. After you can walk to the ferry pier to take the 10 minute boat across to Miyajima island.

By bus

Miyajima’s efficient shuttle bus service transports visitors to different attractions though you can get around quite easily on foot.

By boat

You can take the boat directly from either Hiroshima Peace Park or Hiroshima Port which takes around 55 minutes.

Where To Stay

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Hiroshima
  • 1-3-20 Kokutaijimachi, Hiroshima-shi Naka-ku, Hiroshima, 730-0042 Japan
  • ¥8,360 - ¥14,725
  • 4.09/5 (2,957 reviews)
  • 0.3 km
Comfort Hotel Hiroshima Otemachi
  • 3-7-9 Otemachi, Hiroshima-shi Naka-ku, Hiroshima, 730-0051 Japan
  • ¥6,600 - ¥32,800
  • 0.3 km
Dormy Inn Hiroshima
  • 3-28 Komachi, Hiroshima-shi Naka-ku, Hiroshima, 730-0041 Japan
  • ¥9,900 - ¥11,000
  • 4.31/5 (5,547 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
The Knot Hiroshima
  • 3-1-1 Otemachi, Hiroshima-shi Naka-ku, Hiroshima, 730-0051 Japan
  • ¥8,580 - ¥24,480
  • 4.56/5 (542 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
Hotel MyStays Hiroshima Peace Park
  • 3-3-1 Otemachi, Hiroshima-shi Naka-ku, Hiroshima, 730-0051 Japan
  • ¥5,040 - ¥105,000
  • 4/5 (421 reviews)
  • 0.5 km

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