Miyajima Matsudai Ferries

Miyajima & Mt.Misen - World Heritage Sites
Miyajima Matsudai Kisen Tourist Ship Co., Ltd.

Enjoy the ride on Miyajima Matsudai Ferries to and from Miyajima - World Heritage Sites and Japan's renowned three most scenic spots

Miyajima - World Heritage Site & Japan's renowned three most scenic spots

Miyajima Island is located in the Seto Inland Sea, and Itsukushima Shrine and its surroundings, including the virgin forest of Mt. Misen behind the shrine, were designated as a World Heritage Sites in 1996. Miyajima has long been one of the Japan's best three most spectacular scenic resorts along with Matsushima and Amanohashidate.

Quick analysis Where to go on Miyajima?

A. Falling love with Miyajima's history Historical site course

  1. Itsukushima Shrine
    National Treasure and Important Cultural Property
    The Itsukushima Shrine is Miyajima's premier attraction. As the entire island has been deified and revered as a sacred island and as it was considered disrespectful to build the shrine on the island itself, the shrine was instead built on the seashore. The shrine pavilions were elaborately constructed by Taira-no-Kiyomori incorporating the architectural style of a nobleman's residence in the Heian Period (around the 9th to the 12th century) and using a variety of techniques that would protect it from any damage that might result from that fact that it is standing in sea water.
    Itsukushima Shrine
  2. Otorii Gate
    National Important Cultural Property
    The Otorii, or the grand torii gate, is the symbol of Miyajima. It is made of wood and is 16.6 meters in height and 24.2 meters in length. The circumference of the main pillar is 9.9 meters, and the total weight of the torii gate is about 60 tons. At low tide, people can walk out to the gate. The torii gate is a beautiful enough site at anytime of the day, but when it is illuminated after sunset, it becomes a truly magnificent spectacle and attracts a vast number of people.
    Otorii Gate
  3. Five-Storey Pagoda
    National Important Cultural Property
    This 28 meter high pagoda was built in 1407 and stands next to the magnificent Senjokaku Hall. The inside of the pagoda is exquisitely colored. A dragon is depicted on the ceiling of the inner section, and grape-patterned arabesque is depicted on the ceiling of the outer section.
    Five-Storey Pagoda
  4. Daishoin Temple
    The Daishoin Temple was founded by Kukai, the founder of the Buddhist Shingon sect, in 806 when he underwent his religious training at Mt. Misen. This temple enshrines the statue of Fudo Myo-o, or the immovable king, which Toyotomi Hideyoshi attached to his ship and prayed for victory and maritime safety. The temple also enshrines many other Buddhist statues, which are all worth seeing.
    Daishoin Temple
  5. Eternal Flame and Reikado (Eternal Fire Hall)
    The flame which Kobo Daishi (Kukai) used for his religious training has continued to burn for over 1200 years. It is said that defied water boiled on this flame will cure all kinds of diseases. The flame was also used as the pilot light for the “Flame of Peace” at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
    Eternal Flame and Reikado (Eternal Fire Hall)
  6. Tahoto Pagoda
    National Important Cultural Property
    Tahoto Pagoda, usually called the “two-storey pagoda,” is 15.6 meters in height. It has a very unique shape, with a circular upper section and a square lower section. The pagoda is said to have originated from an India stupa that houses Sakyamuni's ashes, and to have been built by a priest named Shukan in 1523. Sue Harutaka, a warlord, established his headquarters on the hill where the pagoda stands during the Itsukushima battle (1555).
    Tahoto Pagoda
Historical site course Check with your map.

Walk amongst Miyajima's fascinating history and culture Leisurely walking course

  1. Omote Sando Shopping Arcade
    An exciting street lined with souvenir shops and restaurants offering traditional handicrafts, Momiji manju (maple leaf shaped waffle), baked oysters, and Anago-meshi (broiled conger eel on top of rice). This is the most popular shopping arcade on Miyajima.
    Omote Sando Shopping Arcade
  2. Machiya Street
    Machiya street is an old-fashioned quaint but tranquil street where time seems to pass by slowly. Its many renovated stores, shops and cafes are straight out of the 1950s.
    Machiya Street
  3. Momijihodo Nature Walk
    Momijihodo is a track of about 750 meters that extends from the foot of Daishoin Temple to Momijidani Park. There are some places along the route which command panoramic views of the five-storey pagoda, Itsukushima Shrine, and pine trees stretching out from the west side of the shrine. A monument inscribed with a poem written by British poet Edmund Blunden revealing the scenic beauty of Miyajima stands on this track.
    Momijihodo Nature Walk
  4. Misen Hondo (Main Hall)
    This is a hall which is located at the top of Mt. Misen where Kobo Daishi underwent his religious training. It is said that he erected this hall and practiced Gumonjiho (an esoteric rite to improve one's memory) for 100 days during a stopover at Miyajima where he was looking for a sacred place to pray on his way back from a Buddhism study in China. The principal image of Buddha in this hall is Kokuzo Bosatsu, and it is positioned between Fudo Myo-o (immovable king) and Bishamonten (guardian of Buddhism).
    Misen Hondo (Main Hall)
  5. Museum of Historical and Folklore Materials
    This house was built in the 1830s for the Egami Family, a leading wealthy merchant family of Miyajima. The main building and storehouses belonging to the residence are now a museum. On display are 2,000 items describing Miyajima's history, culture and the lives of the people on the island.
    Museum of Historical and Folklore Materials
    Open:
    8:30 ~ 17:00 (Closed for entry is 16:30.)
    Closed:
    Mondays (Tuesday when Monday falls on a national holiday), Dec. 26 ~ 31
    Fee:
    300 yen (High school students: 170 yen, Elementary and junior high school students: 150 yen)
  6. Omoto Shrine
    Important National Cultural Property (Main Hall)
    This shrine has long been worshipped at by local people and it is said to be even older than the Itsukushima Shrine. The main shrine was rebuilt in 1523. Its roof was constructed using the so-called “Omoto style” in which six layers of shingle roofing is laid three times. This is a unique style not seen anywhere else other than in picture scrolls in the medieval times.
    Omoto Shrine
Leisurely walking course Check with your map.

For travelers who like excitement Exciting course

  1. Miyajima Traditional Crafts Center
    Nickname: Miyajiman Kobo
    This hall was reopened in April, 2008 as a tourism facility where visitors can learn the history and traditions of Miyajima through hands-on experiences. It displays and has on sale Miyajima's traditional handicrafts. Visitors can try making Momiji Manju (a maple leaf shaped waffle) and creating their own Shakushi (a rice scoop).
    Miyajima Traditional Crafts Center
    Open:
    9:00 ~ 17:00 (Hands-on activities: 9:30~16:30)
    Closed:
    Mondays (Tuesday when Monday falls on a national holiday), Dec. 29 ~ Jan. 3
    Fee:
    Free (Fees are charged for hands-on experiences.)
  2. Toyokuni Shrine (Senjokaku Hall)
    Important National Cultural Property
    Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the three unifiers of Japan in the 16th century, started building this hall to comfort the souls of sacrificed soldiers. But as Hideyoshi died during its construction, such things as ceiling boards and the main entrance were left uncompleted. The hall is so large that as many as 857 tatami mats are able to be laid out on the floor.
    Toyokuni Shrine (Senjokaku Hall)
  3. The Summit of Mt. Misen
    The unobstructed 360-degree panoramic view from the summit of Mt. Misen is glorious. Visitors have a wonderful view of the many islands that dot the Seto Inland Sea and the mountain ranges of Shikoku when the weather is fine.
    The Top of Mt. Misen
  4. Miyajima Ropeway
    This ropeway directly takes visitors up to the top of Mt. Misen, a miraculous spot. The ropeway consists of two separate ropeways (circulating type, funicular type) that are linked together. The views of the Seto Inland Sea and Miyajima Island's virgin forests are truly stunning, giving passengers the feeling that they are walking in the sky.
    Miyajima Ropeway
    Operation hours:
    9:00 ~ 17:00 (Depends on the season.)
    Suspension of service:
    Bad weather (strong wind, thunderstorm, etc.) and biannual maintenance inspections
    Fee:
    1,800 yen for round trip (Children: 900 yen)
Exciting course Check with your map.

Read the folloiwng fascinating facts and become an authority about Miyajima! Tradition and festivals of each season

Spring

Tokasai Festival (Jin-noh)
The Jin-noh play, held during the Tokasai festival and first dedicated to the deities by Mori Motonari, a warlord in the medieval period, boasts a history of over 400 years. The Tokasai festival is a very important ritual in spring.
Cherry blossoms at Tahoto Pagoda
The two-storey Tahoto Pagoda which stands in the hill to the west of Itsukushima Shrine is a well-known location for looking at cherry blossoms. The 1,600 or so cherry trees that blossom each spring on Miyajima attract many visitors.
Cherry blossoms at Tahoto Pagoda

Summer

Kangen Festival
This is one of the largest Shinto rituals held at the Itsukushima Shrine. It is performed in boats on the sea on June 17 of the lunar calendar. Wind and string instruments perform traditional Japanese court music on Goza boats (music boat).
Miyajima Fireworks Display
Miyajima's fireworks display is one of largest fireworks displays in Japan. The fireworks display is held August 11 in the bay in front of Itsukushima Shrine.* The date varies depending on the year.
Miyajima Fireworks Display

Autumn

Momijidani Park
Momijidani Park is located at the foot of Mt. Misen whose virgin forest is designated as a natural treasure. The park is a great place for viewing the colorful autumn foliage.
Hiwatari Shinji (A big ritual in autumn)
This ritual is held twice a year on April 15 and November 15. Buddhist monks and visitors walk on hot charcoaled embers in their bare feet while praying for good health.
Momijidani Park

Winter

New Year's Days
At the Itsukushima Shrine, court dancing and music is dedicated to the deities on Jan. 1, 2 and 3.
Chinka-sai Festival
The Chinka-sai festival is a fire prevention ritual in which people pray to be protected against fire throughout the year. The ritual is held on the beach (Mikasa-hama) at 6 pm on Dec. 31.
Chinka-sai Festival