It’s hard to compete with an over 1,430-year-old UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site like Itsukushima Shrine or the over 1,200-year-old Daisho-in Temple. On top of that, there are many awe-inspiring sites along the well-trodden road between Miyajima Ferry Terminal and these two giants. But there are other fun, majestic, and intriguing sites to discover if you stray off the main road.
When you get off the ferry, instead of walking towards Itsukushima, try walking along the coast directly away from the shrine. Over the course of 30 minutes, you’ll pass small beaches, oyster farms, scenic ocean sites, small shrines, and lots of deer on your way to Tsutsumigaura, a popular beach with Hiroshima locals. In summer, people enjoy swimming out to a platform just off the shore, renting everything they need for a beachside BBQ, and camping. If 30 minutes sounds like a long walk, taxis and a shuttle bus are available.
You could also try walking directly inland from the ferry terminal. In that direction, you’ll find a few Buddhist temples including Tokujuji. Besides having a modest garden that has something blooming every season of the year, they offer visitors a variety of Japanese cultural activities that guests can enjoy while wearing Kimono. Among the activities are matcha tea making and calligraphy.
Walk past Itsukushima and the road to Daisho-in, and you’ll find two museums in old machiya houses: the Miyajima History and Folklore Museum and the Miyajima Kitaoji Rosanjin Museum. The first museum presents both the grand and everyday history of the island. Visitors can see how a successful soy sauce merchant’s family lived in the 160-year-old house, and they can also explore artifacts and artwork from Itsukushima Shrine. The second museum is devoted to the works of Kitaoji Rosanjin, an artist talented in a variety of media and a noted gourmet whose art made a large contribution to the way Japanese food is presented.