Whenever I mentioned I was going to Hiroshima, EVERYONE would ask, “Are you going to Miyajima too? You MUST go!” The more I looked into it, the more I realized they were right. Miyajima is considered one of the top 3 most beautiful places in Japan.
- Sunday 9:30am Leave hotel for Miyajima after breakfast
- Hiroshima Stn to Miyajimaguchi (400 yen/person) 25 min by JR Train
- Miyajima Port (170 yen/person) 10 min by Ferry
- Sightsee & Lunch
- Last Ferry from Miyajima is 22:14 we left at 18:00
Once upon a time, when Cliff and I were still dating, we used to have fun on trips. Somewhere along the trip of our lives, traveling with Cliff has just about become unbearable to me. He never walks with us, he always acts like he’s on some business trip by himself, he complains constantly and he is picky as to where and what he eats. I go into “vacation mode” and ergo his otherwise “normal” behaviour becomes even more intolerable to me because I feel like our time together as a family is so precious. So, the net result is I turn into one snarky bitch which in turn turns Cliff into even more of a party and poor Chase has to witness his parents acting like imbeciles. So on Sunday morning, before we even had breakfast, I declared I would be on my best behaviour.
GETTING TO MIYAJIMA
At Hiroshima Station, get to the JR side (remember you need to use the underground tunnel through the station). Purchase tickets (400 yen/person) to use the train to get to Miyajimaguchi (literally means the mouth of Miyaguchi). From the Miyaguchi Station, walk straight out and follow the herd to the port. There are plenty of signs and it is a short straight shot (you may have to walk underground to avoid traffic).
Amazing landscapes, autumn colors, floating shrine, oysters, rice paddles and wild deer are just a few of the many things you can look forward to in Miyajima:
I was immediately charmed by this little island which in and of itself is a community/town. I don’t know why I was so surprised. I just thought it would be like another seasonal fair but it’s a real town with residents. You can rent bikes to get around, but we opted to walk. The tide was still high enough at that point, so we were able to take a boat ride to the floating torii:
Even though the guide was talking completely in Japanese, we had a great time just watching everyone in these hats and who could be in a bad mood in a boat on a lovely day?
FYI: Getting anywhere on Myajima feels like a hike. The great news is it’s absolutely beautiful. There are trails and bridges and ponds and wildlife all around you. I was excited to take the ropeway which is actually a gondola (think ski lift/gondola) up to the highest peak on the island. It takes you to the shrine of a famous monk who supposedly showed the good people of Miyajima “The Way”. When we got to the top, it was around lunchtime, but there is only 1 cafe and you can only order a couple of dishes from a vending machine. We didn’t want to waste our appetites on that mess, so we ended up placating Chase and ourselves with a few popsicles until we could get back to the main area and get some “real” food. Despite the long-ass-practically-vertical climb to the top, we did have a good photo-op:
Once we returned to the village, I couldn’t wait to get my bag of chestnuts and rice-cake-on-a-stick! They also had a bunch of other options:
Chase and I would have been completely happy eating some more street food, but Cliff won’t do it. So I had to stop so we could go and eat in a restaurant. Still good food. Miyajima is surrounded by oysters, so that’s also something you need to try. The oysters are meaty & delicious!
With our bellies full, Chase somehow found a gaming area where you could either shoot targets or toss rings for cheap prizes. He LOVES these opportunities. I made Cliff be his audience while I shopped for rice paddles:
My shopping was interrupted by a small crowd oohing & ahhhing outside my shop. I looked outside only to find my son and husband in the middle of this crowd, guns poised and a pile of cheap toys in front of them. I felt like “The Mom” as I stood akimbo and interrupted this carnival party with, “What is going on here?!?”
Evidently, Cliff realized early on that the displays were rigged and he schemed with Chase to shoot siultaneously at 1 target to take it down. They would wait for the game manager to turn around so she couldn’t see what they were doing. Seeing the pure glee mixed with crazy in their eyes and the fact that they were actually bonding and having fun enabled me to just shake my head and walk back to my paddles smiling. Good for them, I thought.
Chase would not be outdone by our cartoon antics on the mountain so when he had his opportunity, he took it:
AT THE END OF THE DAY:
By the time we got ready to head back on the ferry it was about 6:00pm. Despite spending all day on the island, as we walked back I realized we hadn’t even seen half of the island. There was a whole other section we forgot about at the dockside! It was an amazing day for our family. Everyone behaved. All the way back to the hotel, Chase kept going back and forth between Cliff and me hugging us and telling us, “Thank you” and what a great time he had. Even though we were tired physically, I feel like our souls were rejuvenated.
Until next time…
October 24th We go to Korea!