When we think about traveling to Miyajima (Itsukushima) Island we surly first think of its famous Floating Torii Gate. It welcomes visitors to the island. This island is majestic and mysterious that becomes much more than beautiful during the fall season. Some people believe, this is the island where God lives. Could you believe it? I can’t describe the beauty of Miyajima in words because there is no word that could satisfy me telling its beauty.

Miyajima Autumn Colors, Japan
Miyajima Autumn Colors. Photo credit: Sean at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

I am here to share few things with you about Miyajima’s fall foliage season. I have experienced it  myself and once visiting Miyajima Island during autumn was my dream. If you are looking for the best places to see autumn colors in Japan or around Hiroshima then you have come to the right place. I would guide you and show you the right path to enjoy your time on this island. Being a mountainous area it has many trees that turn red, yellow and orange in autumn. During Autumn, the slopes of the mountains change dramatically from green to colorful.

The Five Story Pagoda and Autumn Colors

Miyajima Five-storied Pagoda and Autumn Leaves. Photo Credit: h orihashi at Flickr.

One of the most precious landmarks of Miyajima Island is called the Five-storied Pagoda. You might have seen photos of this landmark on the web. However, seeing this in a real life is different than seeing it online. I personally have visited this pagoda when I made a golden trip to Miyajima. Take a look at the photograph once again that is shown above. I think, this picture says everything else why Miyajima is one of the best perfect destination for hunting autumn foliage. The blue sky, white clouds, the pagoda and the autumn colors make this photograph unique and extraordinary. It looks amazing from any angle you want to look at. When you try to take picture of autumn colors as well as the pagoda prefer any angle and it would surly help you to shoot some great photos. Please note that this Pagoda was built in 1407. No doubt, it represents a beautiful piece of Buddhist architecture in Japan.

Best Places to See Autumn Foliage in Miyajima

Beautiful Maple Red Leaves in Miyajima, Hiroshima. Photo credit: Freedom II Andres at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Miyajima could be a mysterious island if you have not ever visited to this before. But once you make it, I guess it would very hard to explain its beauty in words. To me the whole island offers you to see scenic beauty of autumn colors during its fall season.

Though, we can mark the best two places which are considered to be the best spots for viewing autumn leaves. Before my visit to this beautiful island I used to think of it as mysterious island but not anymore! Let’s find out the most two popular spots to autumn foliage.

Momijidani Park, Miyajima, Japan
Momijidani Park in Autumn. Photo credit: Cory Doctorow at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

1) Momijidani (Maple Valley) Park: This is one of the top places to view autumn leaves in Hiroshima prefecture even in all over Japan.  Different kinds of maple trees could astonish you showing their autumn colors. You can not miss this sort of natural beauty, can you? In fact, this park is covered with more than thousand maple trees. In Momijidani park, there is a shrine called Shinomiya Shrine – is a really great spot where you can find beautiful fall foliage.

Daisho-in Temple in Autumn
Daisho-in Temple in Autumn. Photo credit: elliejackson at Flickr (CC BY-SA)

2) Daisho-in Temple: Suppose, you are in Miyajima now. Enjoying your time seeing colorful autumn leaves alone or with friends. Could you leave this island without visiting a famous Buddhist temple? You must not leave such way until you visit Daisho-in temple. This is a very famous and beautiful Buddhist temple in Japan. This is not a perfect spot for viewing cherry blossoms but autumn foliage. It will be hard for you to forget the memory you will experience over there in autumn. It takes only five minutes to reach here from Itsukushima shrine. It is free to enter at the temple and open for all from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Things to do on Miyajima Island

Autumn Leaves and The Buddha Statues, Miyajima. Photo Credit: Kevin Shieh at Flickr.

There are so many things to do in Miyajima Island where some of them are really interesting and unexpected. I think you won’t be here just to see autumn foliage, will you? By the way, it is up to you but I will add something here from my own experience. The first time I had visited this island was kind of I did not know anything else except autumn leaves, the floating torii gate so called the great torii and Itsukushima Shrine. In fact, there were these three reasons to visit this place. By the time I arrived there I had started experiencing new things which were unexpected such as various sizes of Buddha statues on the grounds, wild deer, and hiking trails.

Wild Deer on Miyajima Island! Photo Credit: alexandre_meunier73 at Flickr.

I had my best opportunity to get know them all and YES I knew them! On the summit of Misen I discovered Misen Hondo Hall, Temple Bell, Miyama-jinja Shrine, Sankido Hall, Reikado Hall, Mizu-kake Jizo and other things. I was amazed seeing the architecture of Daiganji Temple! In general, I had a great time on this island. It could be the same for you if you visit the places I have mentioned here. Oh I think you should also visit the old town on Miyajima Island which is worth visiting and exploring. If you like hiking the you could hike to the summit of Mount Misen while there is a ropeway service that takes only 25 mintues to get to the summit. I think I have skipped telling you other things, I am sorry! But why don’t you explore them by yourself?

When to Visit Miyajima in Autumn?

Autumn Colors in Miyajima, Japan
This is for why you should visit Miyajima in Autumn. Photo credit: Freedom II Andres at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

The best time to visit Miyajima to see its autumn foliage is on mid-November. That is the peak time when many visitors arrive here and stay in various hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese inn). It is also advisable to you that you book your room before your arrival. Your room will be taken by someone if you don’t take my words seriously. So, you know what to do! Before you visit Japan please read this useful article.

You also can hang around Mount Misen taking the ropeway. It will take you up from where you could see Seto Inland Sea and Hiroshima town. On the way, you must view the magnificent colorful autumn foliage.

Where to Stay in Miyajima?

Miyajima is not Tokyo where you get tons of hotels around. Here, you have to stay in some hotels and sometimes they get fully booked because of the huge number of tourists visit there during spring and autumn seasons. So be careful of it before you take your trip. I am gonna make a list of the hotels you can stay there, please follow the links to book your rooms.

  1. Miyajima Hotel New Kotobuki

  2.  Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto

  3. Miyajima Coral Hotel

  4. Nakaya B&B

  5. Aki Grand Hotel

  6. Hostel & Cafe Backpackers Miyajima

Miyajima Travel Guide

Momijidani Park autumn leaves. Photo Credit: GetHiroshima.com

It is better to know some useful information about the destination you are going to visit. Such information will guide you how to reach your desired destination, where to live, things to do during your visit, where to eat and etc. Here are few links given below that would be helpful for you to dig more information about traveling to Miyajima. Also you can get a useful travel guide here.

  1. Miyajima Tourist Association
  2. Miyajima Area – Japan National Tourist Organization
  3. Miyajima : One of the top three scenic spots in Japan
  4. Miyajima | Visit Hiroshima
  5. Japan World Heritage Sites
  6. Japan Guide Book

The thing you experience in Tokyo is far different than the thing you will be experiencing in Miyajima Island. So, get ready for this trip!

Copyright 2014 @ takkhis