Itsukushima (??) is an island in the Inland Sea of Japan. It is popularly known as Miyajima (??), the Shrine Island. Itsukushima is part of the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture since 2005. The island of Itsukushima, including the waters around it, and are part of the Setonaikai National Park. Itsukushima is mountainous and sparsely settled. There are no traffic signals.
Frequent ferry services, operated by JR West (JR Miyajima ferry) and by Miyajima Matsudai Tourist Ship, carry traffic between the island and the mainland. The trip takes about ten minutes. There is an hourly express passenger ferry to Hiroshima harbour.
Itsukushima is famous for the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to records, the shrine was established in the time of Empress Suiko. The warrior-courtier Taira no Kiyomori gave the shrine its present form. In 1555, M?ri Motonari defeated Sue Harukata at the Battle of Miyajima. Toyotomi Hideyoshi built a large building, the Senj?-kaku, on a hill above the shrine.
Itsukushima Shrine (Japanese: ????, Itsukushima Jinja) is a Shinto shrine. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Japanese government has designated several buildings and possessions as national treasures.
The shrine is dedicated to the three daughters of the Shinto deity Susano-o no Mikoto, brother of the great sun deity, Amaterasu (the tutelary deity of the Imperial household). The first shrine buildings were probably erected in the 6th century, and the shrine has been destroyed many times. The present shrine dates from the mid-16th century, having been rebuilt in keeping with its earlier 12th century design.
Hiroshima style Okonomiaki at a local restaurant on Miyajima
Those with energy to spare may wish to hike up Mt. Misen (??, 530 meters) for views of the island. The hike takes about an hour, depending on rest stops along the way. Be advised that, while people of most fitness levels can pull it off, it’s also not a minor exertion. Look for the signs for the ropeway, and when you reach it, just keep going. There is a less-used, slightly more strenuous (and rewarding) route that begins in the mossy park near the aquarium. This route is called the Omoto Pass. Momijidani Park (?????) is known for its autumn colors, and there are quite a few quiet little temples to explore along the way.
Those with less energy (or inclination) can cheat and take the ropeway to the top (¥1000 one way, ¥1800 return trip)