Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island

Share This:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Miyajima Island has long been a draw for tourists and locals alike for its serenity, nature, and shrines.  Visitors are consistent in voting Miyajima Island one of the top scenic spots in Japan. A quick look on a map and you’ll find that Miyajima’s actual name is Itsukushima.  In Japanese Miyajima means Shrine Island, and the nickname has stuck. With easy access by boat, Miyajima Island makes for a perfect day trip when visiting nearby Hiroshima.

Sunset on Miyajima Island - Itsukushima, Japan

Sunset on Miyajima Island

Traveling to Miyajima Island

You’ll find Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Bay.  Travelers visiting Hiroshima can add an extra day in the region to visit Miyajima Island.  It is easy to reach Miyajima Island from Hiroshima.  The trip is less than an hour and makes for a perfect day trip.  Visitors will reach Miyajima Island from Hiroshima by train and boat.

To reach Miyajima Island most visitors in Hiroshima will board the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station.  The JR Line is the fastest way to reach Miyajimaguchi Station.  The popular Japan Rail Pass that many tourists use to travel around Japan covers the JR Sanyo Line.  Those that did not buy a Japan Rail Pass have two options to reach Miyajimaguchi Station.  The fastest route is to buy a round trip ticket for the aforementioned JR Sanyo Line.  The cheaper, and slower, alternative is to take the Number 2 Tram Line from central Hiroshima bound for Miyajimaguchi.

Upon reaching Miyajimaguchi Station follow the signs to the Miyajimaguchi/Miyajima Ferry Port.  This short walk leads you to the boats sailing to Miyajima Island.  At the Port, Japan Rail Pass holders may use the entrance marked JR and board the next available boat bound for Miyajima Island.  Those without a Japan Rail Pass will need to buy tickets at the nearby kiosk for the next available sailing.

Travelers without a Japan Rail Pass can reach Miyajima Island without boarding a train.  Two other docks, at Hiroshima Peace Park and Hiroshima Port, offer direct boat rides between Hiroshima and Miyajima Island.

Arriving at Miyajima Island

Regardless of which boat you take to reach Miyajima Island you will disembark at Miyajima Pier.  From the Pier turn right and walk along the path next to the waterfront.  As you walk along the path, and throughout Miyajima Island, you may come upon deer roaming free.  These deer appear tame and comfortable around humans, as long you do not bother them.  Visitors enjoy taking photos with the deer, but be sure to treat the animals with care.  Remember, the deer are wildlife.  Approach the deer with caution, stay at a safe distance, and do not touch or feed the deer.  The deer will eat paper tourists are holding in their hands.  Be mindful if you are holding maps or brochures near the deer.

To the left of the waterfront pathway you will find local owned businesses on the streets of Omotesando and Machiya.  Miyajima artisans are fond of using wood to create everything from trays to containers.  You can even find pieces of woodwork with etchings of various Miyajima sights.  Rice scoopers are one popular item the wood makers craft.  As you walk among the stores keep an eye out for a display featuring the largest rice scooper in the world.

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

At the end of the streets with stores and restaurants you will come upon Itsukushima Shinto Shrine.  The Shrine’s buildings, along with the nearby Five-Storied Pagoda and O-Torii, have the honorable designation of being a UNESCO World Cultural Site.  Most visitors are familiar with Miyajima Island because of the O-Torii, or Grand Torii Gate.  The O-Torii is first visible from the boat one takes to reach Miyajima Island.

Viewing the O-Torii is a different experience depending on whether you visit during low tide or during high tide.  Upon disembarking from the boat that brought you to Miyajima Island visit the nearby Information Booth for a posted sign with times for low and high tide.  Pre-planners can find tide times posted online if you need to know the times before your visit.  High tide is the perfect time for photos as the O-Torii sits surrounded by water.  Low tide offers visitors the chance to see the O-Torii up close as you may walk up to the Gate.  The ground is wet, muddy, and slippery, so wear proper shoes for the walk to the O-Torii during low tide.

Mt. Misen (the Sacred Mountain) and Observatory

Included in the World Heritage designation is Mt. Misen, known as the Sacred Mountain.  The landscape of the Island has drawn many spiritual beings to Miyajima.  As you hike Mt. Misen, you will find large rocks and trees amidst temples and religious statues.  To hike any part of Mt. Misen requires being in good physical health.  It is possible to hike from the base of Mt. Misen to the top.  Most visitors will ride the Miyajima Ropeway, which will allow you to bypass a large part of Mt. Misen.  From the waterfront follow the signs to the Momijidani Station and use the Ropeway to reach either Kayatani or Shishiiwa Station.

Even taking the Ropeway to the furthest point, Shishiiwa, still leaves hikers with a strenuous trail to the top most observation deck.  The reward in reaching the observation deck is stunning views of Seto Inland Sea and the surrounding Islands.

 

Daishoin Temple

With its deep connection between nature and spirituality, Miyajima is home to many temples.  One in particular, Daishoin Temple, is one of the grandest on Miyajima Island.  The grounds for Daishoin Temple makes it one of the larger temples to explore on Miyajima Island.  The easiest way to locate Daishoin is if you position yourself with the Miyajima Ropeway behind you, and the O-Torii Gate in front of you.  At that point turn left to reach Daishoin.  Take your time walking and admiring the serene grounds, various halls, and thousands of religious statues.

KML-LogoFullscreen-LogoQR-code-logoGeoJSON-LogoGeoRSS-LogoWikitude-Logo
Miyajima Island

loading map - please wait...

Miyajima Pier: 34.302092, 132.322270
Omotesando Street: 34.299070, 132.321860
Machiya Street: 34.298441, 132.322490
Itsukushima Shinto Shrine: 34.296083, 132.319915
Five-Storied Pagoda : 34.297129, 132.320752
O-Torii Gate: 34.297253, 132.318134
Miyajima Ropeway: Momijidani Station: 34.293247, 132.326782
Mt. Misen Observatory: 34.279436, 132.319529
Daishoin Temple: 34.291864, 132.318628
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Miyajima Pier
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Omotesando Street
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Machiya Street
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Itsukushima Shinto Shrine
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Itsukushima Island 広島県, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Five-Storied Pagoda
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
O-Torii Gate
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Miyajima Ropeway: Momijidani Station
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Mt. Misen Observatory
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Daishoin Temple
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share This:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Impressions and Sights of Osaka, Japan

Share This:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Osaka is the city often overlooked by visitors to the country of Japan. The flashier Tokyo or the temples of Kyoto draw millions of tourists, yet those that stay away from Osaka are missing out. Walk around Osaka and you will find yourself in a beautifully understated city.  Morning-to-night locals and tourists alike enjoy every corner of Osaka. As with any other top-notch city you will find plenty of shopping, great eats, wondrous sights, and an active nightlife.

With easy access from Kansai International Airport, Osaka is a great starting point for your trip. This is especially so if you are primarily focusing your trip on the Kansai region of Japan. If you have just arrived in Japan, Osaka is a great city to sync up into the rhythm of Japan and help you get over your jet lag. From Kansai International Airport take the Kansai Airport Express JR Haruka and you will reach Osaka within an hour.

Numbers of Days to Spend in Osaka

Although Osaka is not nearly as overwhelming in size and scope as Tokyo, you will still need at least three full days to capture the essence of the city. Two days are only enough if your focus is on sightseeing, as Osaka has fewer sights than Tokyo or Kyoto. If you enjoy eating and shopping, two days will go by in the blink of an eye. To truly experience Osaka you will be happy you added a third or even a fourth day in this relaxed and laid back big city. Osaka has multiple districts and you might miss a couple of districts if you are trying to cram everything of import into just two days.

Those that enjoy the nightlife will want to schedule their trip to Osaka to coincide with the weekends. Fridays and Saturdays are popular nights with people enjoying the city late into the evening and into the next morning. Partygoers will find plenty of bars and clubs in the city. Even late at night, popular restaurants have long lines of foodies and partygoers looking to fuel up on good food. Or if the evening air is warm enjoy walking the streets and the water-lined walkways of Dotonbori canal while soaking in the atmosphere that is Osaka.

Osaka Castle Park

The top sight in Osaka is Osaka Castle Park. The grounds of the Park are free to visitors. From the grounds you can get great photos of the various buildings on the grounds, including the main Castle itself. Entry into the Castle will cost an admission fee. Osaka Castle Park is a great place to visit during the spring or fall time. At those times of the year the grounds come alive with cherry blossoms or the autumn colors of the turning of the tree leaves.

Umeda Sky Building

Visit the Umeda Sky Building for amazing views of the city. This architectural astonishment, in the shape of an upside-down U, has a viewing platform on the very top floor. Ride an elevator, followed by a short escalator ride, to the 173rd floor and the Floating Garden Observatory. Take in views of the city by sitting inside on the various seating available or by heading outside to stand on the viewing platform. Whether inside or outside, you will be in for a treat, with stunning panoramic views of the city of Osaka.

After you’ve enjoyed the views of the city, ride the elevator to the bottom of the Umeda Sky Building. Under the Umeda Sky Building you will find Takimi Koji Alley. This floor is a recreation of an old Japanese town, with “streets” that house various restaurants and izakaya. Enjoy this peaceful section of Osaka as you stroll the “streets” and unwind while eating fantastically good food.

Dotonbori Walk

Dotonbori, or Dotombori, is one of the main districts of Osaka. This popular part of town runs along the Dotonbori canal, making this a picturesque part of the city to walk. Dotonbori is close to a section of the city known as Amerika-Mura. Here you will find a hip youthful vibe with stores selling new and used/vintage clothes. For neon lights, restaurants with big signs made to appear as food, and more shops visit the parts of Ebisu-bashi and Dotonbori Arcade. For even more stores you can stop by Shinsaibashi Station. If you need a break from the active buzz of the city, be sure to visit Hozen-ji Temple, a serene spot in the city.

Namba Yasaka shrine - Osaka, Japan

Namba Yasaka shrine

Osaka Shrines

The shrines of Osaka are peaceful oases in the bustling city. If you visit only one shrine, be sure to visit Namba Yasaka. The grounds for this Shinto shrine are small but the massive lion head makes the trip worthwhile. Use the time at the shrine for peaceful contemplation before heading back into the city.

KML-LogoFullscreen-LogoQR-code-logoGeoJSON-LogoGeoRSS-LogoWikitude-Logo
Osaka Sights

loading map - please wait...

Osaka Castle Park: 34.687315, 135.526201
Umeda Sky Building: 34.705384, 135.489614
Dotonbori: 34.668515, 135.502552
Ebisu-bashi: 34.669054, 135.501296
Shinsaibashi Station: 34.674413, 135.500310
Hozen-ji Temple: 34.667877, 135.502613
Namba Yasaka Shrine: 34.661625, 135.496691
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Osaka Castle Park
Impressions and Sights of Osaka, Japan
Osaka Castle Park, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Umeda Sky Building
Impressions and Sights of Osaka, Japan
Umeda Sky Building, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Dotonbori
Impressions and Sights of Osaka, Japan
Dotonbori, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Ebisu-bashi
Impressions and Sights of Osaka, Japan
Ebisubashi, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Shinsaibashi Station
Impressions and Sights of Osaka, Japan
Shinsaibashi Station, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Hozen-ji Temple
Impressions and Sights of Osaka, Japan
Hōzen-ji Temple, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Namba Yasaka Shrine
Impressions and Sights of Osaka, Japan
Nanbayasaka Shrine, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share This:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island

Share This:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

 

Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau

 

Cheung Chau is part of Hong Kong’s Island Districts. Located less than an hour away from Hong Kong Island, Cheung Chau allows visitors a chance to glimpse a different side of Hong Kong.   Here in Cheung Chau is a bustling fishing village. The harbor is full of fisherman working on their boats. At the waterfront vendors sell fish at markets while restaurants serve up fresh seafood dishes. Besides seafood tourists will enjoy Cheung Chau’s narrow streets with their shops, bakeries, and food stalls. Cheung Chau may translate from Cantonese into “Long Island” yet the island itself is small enough to entice visitors for a few hours. This makes Cheung Chau a perfect island for those tourists on a time crunch but still wanting to explore one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands.

Central Ferry Pier 5 - Hong Kong, China

Central Ferry Pier 5 – Hong Kong Island

Cheung Chau Ferry Pier - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau Ferry Pier

 

The Ferry to Cheung Chau

Ferries to Cheung Chau leave from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 5. Departures are daily and either on the ordinary or fast service ferry. Ordinary service will get you to Cheung Chau in an hour while fast service will get you there in half an hour. Ticket prices vary depending on which ferry you board and if you travel Mondays to Saturdays or Sundays and public holidays. The most expensive fare is the adult fare on the fast ferry on Sundays and public holidays at $37.20 HKD ($4.80 USD). Ferries that leave from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 5 sail direct to Cheung Chau Ferry Pier.

Boats in Cheung Chau's harbor - Hong Kong, China

Boats in Cheung Chau’s harbor

Fisherman heading to his boat - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Fisherman heading to his boat

Bicycles along Cheung Chau's waterfront - Hong Kong, China

Bicycles along Cheung Chau’s waterfront

Dried Seafood - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Dried seafood for sale

Egg custard from a food vendor in Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

Egg custard from a food vendor

San Hing Praya Street - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

San Hing Praya Street

 

Arrival in Cheung Chau

The moment you disembark the ferry on Cheung Chau the famous golden arches of McDonald’s will greet you. This fast-food restaurant is on the main road called San Hing Praya Street. If possible resist this American temptation and look back towards the water where you will see an overabundance of boats and fisherman. There aren’t many docks along the waterfront and fisherman make their way back to land on floating platforms attached to shore by ropes. Cheung Chau is an active fishing village and if you are a fan of seafood you will want to save your appetite for dining options other than McDonald’s. Along San Hing Praya you’ll notice rows of bicycles belonging to the hard-working people of Cheung Chau. Cars are not allowed on Cheung Chau so locals use bicycles or small-motorized carts to travel around the island. Continue your introduction to Cheung Chau by exploring San Hing Praya Street. Here you will find shops with souvenirs and food stalls where you can buy dried seafood or desserts such as mochi or egg custard. At the end of San Hing Praya Street is Pak She Praya Road. This road is full of restaurants selling seafood and this section of town is a great place to eat a meal at if you are hungry.

Pak Tai Temple - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Pak Tai Temple

An altar inside the Pak Tai Temple - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

An altar inside the Pak Tai Temple

 

Cheung Chau Temple

From the Cheung Chau Ferry Pier turn left on San Hing Praya Street. Turn right past the playground at Pak She Third Lane. This street will take you to one of the main temples on the island, Pak Tai Temple. Walk Pak She Third Lane until you reach Pak Tai Temple on the right-hand side. The temple is open to the public but remember, be respectful inside this holy place of worship. Dedicated to the Taoist God of the Sea the temple has four stone lions that great you as you ascend the steps to the shrine. Before entering the temple notice the ornate statues of dragons at the top of the temple. Throughout the temple you will see various figurines and murals such as that of a tiger and their cub.

Steamed buns sold by a street vendor in Hong Kong, China

Steamed buns sold by a street vendor

Tung Wan Beach - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Tung Wan Beach

 

Tung Wan Beach

From Pak Tai Temple you will walk towards the direction you came, but this time on Pak She Street and San Hing Street. These streets include bakeries selling various steamed buns and food stalls selling different flavored fish balls. From the food stalls and stores take either Kwok Man Road or Tung Wan Road towards Tung Wan Beach. This beach is popular with tourists and locals alike on hot days.   After you’ve enjoyed the sun, water, and sand continue exploring the various streets around Tung Wan Beach. Along these streets are stores used by locals such as apothecaries, grocery stores, and stores selling household goods. As you walk among the streets notice the small altars dedicated to various deities.

A street in Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

A street in Cheung Chau

An altar in the streets of Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

An altar in the streets of Cheung Chau

 

Tai Hing Tai Road

Make your way through the various streets, heading past the Cheung Chau Ferry Pier and on to Tai Hing Tai Road. On Tai Hing Tai Road is Cheung Chau Market. Inside are various vendors selling meats, seafood, and fruits to locals. Around the market are hawker style food stalls and restaurants. Pick any of the restaurants to eat at and enjoy fresh seafood dishes such as salt and pepper crab or seafood combination fried rice.

Cheung Chau Market - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau Market

Salt and pepper crab - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Salt and pepper crab

Seafood combination fried rice - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Seafood combination fried rice

After your delicious seafood meal continue to explore the various streets before heading back to Cheung Chau Ferry Pier. Here at Cheung Chau Ferry Pier you will catch your boat ride back to Hong Kong Island.

KML-LogoFullscreen-LogoQR-code-logoGeoJSON-LogoGeoRSS-LogoWikitude-Logo
Cheung Chau

loading map - please wait...

Cheung Chau Ferry Pier: 22.208517, 114.028364
San Hing Praya Street: 22.209453, 114.028527
Pak Tai Temple: 22.212387, 114.027883
Tung Wan Beach: 22.210419, 114.029939
Tai Hing Tai Road: 22.205559, 114.026941
Cheung Chau Market: 22.206856, 114.028119
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Cheung Chau Ferry Pier
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Cheung Chau Ferry Pier, Hong Kong
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
San Hing Praya Street
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
San Hing Praya Street, Hong Kong
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Pak Tai Temple
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Pak Tai Temple, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Tung Wan Beach
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Tung Wan Beach, Hong Kong
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Tai Hing Tai Road
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Tai Hing Tai Road, Hong Kong
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Cheung Chau Market
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Cheung Chau Market, Hong Kong

 

Share This:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page