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!
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.
Once I had a dream of visiting Miyajima Island in autumn. Indeed, my dream came true a few years ago when I visited the island and experienced its historic landmarks and beautiful koyo.
If you are looking for the best places to see autumn colors in Japan or around Hiroshima, you have come to the right place.
In this article, I am here to share few things with you about Miyajima’s stunning fall foliage season and the right ways to enjoy your time on the island. Enjoy!
The Five Story Pagoda and Autumn Colors
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 white clouds covering the blue sky, 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. It looks stunning from any angle!
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
Miyajima could be a mysterious island with many wonderful cultural treasures and a unique nature in the land of the rising sun. The very first time you arrive in this sacred 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 colours in the fall.
On Miyajima, there are two popular autumn foliage spots, they are as follows:
1) Momijidani (Maple Valley) Park:
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 colours. 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 now on Miyajima and exploring the area of Itsukushima Shrine. Enjoying your time seeing colorful autumn leaves alone or with friends. Everything seems charming and tranquil there!
Could you leave this island without visiting a famous Buddhist temple? You must not leave the island until you visit the famous Daisho-in temple. This is considered one of the very famous and beautiful Buddhist temples in Japan.
Located at the base of Mount Misen, is an prestigious Buddhist temple of the Shingon Buddhism. It features many beautiful buildings and statues.
It was founded in 806 by the founder of the Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi and is the oldest Buddhist temple on the Island. The temple grounds offer a hiking trail leading to the summit of Mount Misen. On the way, you will come across some temple halls.
This is not a perfect spot to see cherry blossoms in the spring but what it showcases in autumn is absolutely mind-boggling. The surrounding trees ablaze with colour in autumn. 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
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.
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?
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.
I am going to make a list of the hotels where you can stay overnight, please follow the links to book your rooms.
Miyajima Travel Guide
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.
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.