Planning a trip to Miyajima (Itsukushima) Island this November to see breathtaking fall colors? The iconic Floating Torii Gate is what everyone wishes to see on the island. Except this interesting landmark, Miyajima offers so much to offer you. The island is majestic and mysterious that highlights beautiful autumn colors in the fall.

Some people believe that 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. To admire the natural beauty it showcases throughout the year, you will have to discover the area all by yourself!

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. Once I had a dream of visiting Miyajima Island during autumn. Indeed, my dream came true when I visited the island in the fall a years ago. If you are looking for the best places to see autumn colors in Japan or around Hiroshima, you have come to the right place.

Today, I would show you the right path to enjoy your time on the island. Being a mountainous area it has many trees that turn red, yellow and orange in autumn. In autumn, the slopes of the mountains change dramatically from green to red, crimson, orange and yellow.

The Five Story Pagoda and Autumn Colors

Five-storied Pagoda. Photo Credit: Spiegel at Flickr.

One of the most precious landmarks of Miyajima Island is the Five-storied Pagoda. You might have seen some photographs of this iconic 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 most popular destinations to see autumn leaves in Japan. 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 on Miyajima

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

Miyajima could be a mysterious island in the land of the rising sun. The very first time you arrive in this iconic place, I guess for you it would be very hard to explain its beauty in words. According to my experience, the whole island offers you to see scenic beauty of autumn colors in the fall.

On Miyajima, there are two popular autumn foliage spots, they are as follows:

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

1) Momijidani (Maple Valley) Park: a 15-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine

Located at the foot of Mount Misen, this is one of the top places to view autumn leaves in Hiroshima prefecture. Different kinds of maple trees could astonish you showing their autumn colors. You can not miss this sort of natural beauty, can you?

Please note the park has hundreds of maple trees and you will be delighted to see some freely roaming deer in the park. Many visitors and locals alike on the island love walking in this tranquil park, especially in the early morning!

It’s a 15-minute walk from the iconic Itsukushima Shrine.

2) Daisho-in Temple:

Suppose, you are on 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 considered one of the very famous and beautiful Buddhist temples in Japan.

This is not a perfect spot to see cherry blossoms in the spring but autumn foliage. It will be hard for you to forget the memory you will experience there in the fall. It’s a five minutes walk from Itsukushima shrine. Admission to the temple is free and open for all from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Things to do on Miyajima Island

Incredible colors! Photo Credit: Freedom II Andres at Flickr.

There are so many things to do on Miyajima Island where some of them are really interesting and surprising. 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 or so called the great torii and Itsukushima Shrine. In fact, those were the big 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 impressive hiking trails. I had my best opportunity to get know them all and YES I knew them!

Tourists should visit Machiya Street that is worth visiting and exploring. Omoto Park, Miyajima Aquarium, Miyajima Historical Folklore Museum are also great attractions to be explored.

Japanese Sika Deer on Miyajima. Photo Credit: Richard Fisher at Wikimedia Commons.

To make the most out of your Miyajima trip, you must visit Mount Misen (the highest peak on Miyajima) alongside other popular attractions. There are three hiking trails to choose from when it comes to climbing the mountain and enjoying breathtaking fall foliage vistas.

If hiking is not your best way to enjoy the trip, take the ropeway. It will take you to the upper ropeway station. From top of the mountain, you could see incredible view of the Seto Inland Sea and Hiroshima town.

On the summit of Mount 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!

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 ideal time when many visitors arrive here and stay in various hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese inn).

It is also advisable to you that you should make hotel reservation in advance. 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.

Where to Stay at Miyajima?

Miyajima is not like Tokyo where you get tons of hotels around. Here, you will have to stay in some hotels and sometimes they get fully booked because of the huge number of tourists visit the island in the spring and autumn. So, be always careful of it. I am gonna make a list of the hotels where you can stay overnight, 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

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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 where to stay and eat, how to go, activities, things to do and see, 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 things you experience in Tokyo are far different than the things you will be experiencing on Miyajima. Therefore, get yourself ready to have the experience of a lifetime.