Day trip from Hiroshima; Miyajima Island || Japan specialty coffee guide
For me, Hiroshima reminded me so much of my hometown Brisbane. Hiroshima is a city surrounded by a magnificent mountainscape. There are many parks & lush green trees dotted throughout the city as well as a slow moving river that winds its way through the CBD, cutting a line between east & west. The streets are barely filled with people except for in the morning when everyone is exercising before work along the riverfront. Hiroshima is a slow pace city & is a nice change from the hustling nature of Japans bigger metropolis like Tokyo or Osaka.
Hiroshima has a rich history & of course a harrowing past. In this post, I'm not going to talk about those topics, but instead, I will talk about a beautiful Island situated in the Bay of Hiroshima. If the slow-paced nature of Hiroshima is still a little bit much, you can always take a day trip to the tranquil island of Miyajima (aka Itsukushima) for some hiking, swimming & of course some delicious coffee.
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HOW TO GET TO MIYAJIMA
Miyajima Island is situated in the bay of Hiroshima & only takes about an hour to get to from Hiroshima. If you hold a Japan Rail Pass then the entire trip to Miyajima will be covered. For more information about the Japan Rail Pass & other Japan, travel hacks take a look at my previous post.
Take the Sanyo main line to Miyajimaguchi station using your JR pass. From there walk about 400m towards the dock & take the JR ferry across to Miyajima. There is another ferry that also goes to Miyajima however, the price of this ferry is not cheap, nor is it covered by the JR pass.
When you're at Miyajimaguchi station & the ferry docking station on Miyajima Island don't forget to collect your free Eki stamp souvenir!
Alternatively, if money is not an issue you can take a ferry from Hiroshima peace park, down the river, into the bay & dock at Miyajima Island.
HIKING & CABLE CARS
If you're after some awesome hiking trails that will really get your heart rate up then I recommend Misen Mountain. You can access the ropeway up to Misen Mountain by traversing through Momijidani Park towards Momijidani station. Misen Mountain has a history that dates back to the year 806. Mount Misen is a sacred cultural heritage site. The hike to the summit of Mount Misen took us about 30 minutes (we were rushing as we only had an hour to get to the sumit & back for the last cable car).
There are many shrines along the hiking trail. The view from the top of the cable car & the summit of Mt. Misen is truly incredible. Make sure to bring plenty of water as there is nowhere to fill up along the path & don't forget to collect your Eki stamp!
MIYAJIMA SPECIALTY COFFEE
If you walk down the main promenade of Miyajima you will most certainly hit the market street. On either side of the road are many stores selling anything from local woodworking souvenirs to delicious maple leaf baked goods.
Of course, my main mission when landing in a new location is to find a good coffee shop. Miyajima Coffee is the perfect place to start or end your day on Miyajima. There is plenty of room in this cafe for couples or groups & the coffee is super tasty.
MOJITOS & SHINTO SHRINES
If you have seen anything about Miyajima then I'm sure you have come across many pictures of the famous floating Torii gate & Shinto Shrine. At high tide the Shrine appears to be floating on the water. At low tide you can walk out to the Torii gate & see the vast amounts of money that has been thrown at the base of the gate for good luck. On the first day at Miyajima Island we arrived slightly later in the day so we grabbed a few mojito's from one of the stalls in the market & came back to the shoreline to watch the sun go down behind the Torii gate.