Miyajima is definitely one of the most popular destinations for tourists who visit the Hiroshima area. With its status as one of Japan's top three scenic views and its rich cultural heritage, it comes as no surprise that hundreds of tourists flock to this island every day.
Most of those tourists make use of the frequent ferry services and visit Miyajima and its attractions on a day-trip. However, if you leave the island in the evening you are seriously missing out!
Not only are Itsukushima Shrine and the famous torii illuminated after sunset (until 11pm), but Miyajima also boasts with amazing ryokans, that will allow you to enjoy the special atmosphere of this magical island at night!
And what is better than enjoying a hot bath, after having watched the sun set behind the floating torii, to then get ready to stroll down the lantern lit Machiya Dori in your yukata. Sounds like a great idea? Then let me recommend a great ryokan that will make your overnight stay in Miyajima a truly memorable one!
Only a 3-minute walk away from the Ferry Terminal, Sakuraya is conveniently located at the seafront of Miyajima.
6 of the 21 rooms of the ryokan are overlooking the seaside and I can tell you, the view is truly stunning!
The rooms all feature tatami flooring, futon beds, as well as air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, a TV and a kettle with tea (this might sound unimportant, but if you have lived in the UK for a while, you know that a kettle and tea are quintessential to any room!).
When I stayed at one of the seafront rooms, my room also had a private bathroom and a separate living area with two chairs and a table, overlooking the beautiful Seto Inland Sea.
The rooms with private bathroom and sea view are a bit more expensive compared to those with mountain view and/or shared bathroom, but I felt that the spacious room and the amazing view were definitely worth the extra fee. There is an elevator that takes you up to the 4th floor, but unfortunately doesn't go all the way to the 5th, which has to be accessed by stairs.
Sakuraya's staff is very helpful and speak English, helping you to find the best hiking routes and when the tides will change. They also rent out bicycles if you feel like exploring the island on wheels! And if you want to explore the island a bit more on your day of departure before taking the ferry back to Miyajima-guchi, just ask at the desk and they are happy to store your luggage for you!
Just outside the property, they sell fresh oysters, a staple of Miyajima, and they are not to be missed!
After my hike up Mount Misen, I was glad to have the chance to soak in the ryokan's sento. It's not a big bath, but just what you need after a day of hiking and exploring.
For me, the real magic of Miyajima comes out when the sun sets. Sitting in the little living area, that doubles as a balcony, I could see the lights of the coastal towns in the distance, the lit up torii, the sound of geta clacking on the promenade down below, the smell of grilled oysters... And of course watching the sun rise over the mountain the next day and experiencing the morning worship at the Daisho-in Temple.
- Picture living area pic 2-
Sakuraya gives you that traditional ryokan feeling combined with the magic of Miyajima island. If you want to experience the charm of this island without the swarms of tourists, then this is the place to turn in!