These days more and more people are realising the beauty of Miyajima, the island situated in the Seto Inland Sea to the south of Hiroshima. With it’s iconic floating Torii gate and world heritage Itsukushima Shrine, enhanced by the beautiful Goju-no-To pagoda, it’s a fabulous place. It’s well worth finding a place to stay on the island itself, to enjoy the evening illumination of the shrine and Torii gate, take a stroll around the island or even enjoy a night boat cruise.
Here are 8 of the best, offering a range of prices and facilities to cater for everyone.
1. Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto (from $350)
This is 4 star hotel on the island, only a 3 minute stroll from world heritage Itsukushima Shrine. The Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto has 3 restaurants, karaoke, and an outdoor hot spring bath. Guests can relax in the bath, which offers separate facilities for men and women. Massages are also available.
Guests may choose between luxury traditional Japanese rooms with futons and tatami floors, or Western rooms with carpeting and twin beds.
There is a free shuttle service from Miyajima Pier, which is located only 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Limited parking is available.
2. Iwaso Ryokan
This traditional Japanese Inn has been opened since 1854 and boats remarkable gardens and a wonderful ryokan experience for its guests. You can use the hot spring bath in the main building, or choose a room with a private bath in one of Iwaso Ryokan’s three wings.
Iwaso Ryokan has been listed as a top pick in publications such as Lonely Planet, and is particular popular in autumn when visitors are lucky enough to see Maple Valley’s vibrant colours.
It’s a 15 minute walk from the ferry port and hotel pick-up sevice available.
3. Sakuraya (from $45)
Sakuraya is a 3 star hotel that benefited from renewal in 2013. The hotel offers Japanese-style rooms with mountain or sea views, only a 1 minute walk from the ferry terminal. Rooms are air-conditioned and include a private toilet. Private bathrooms are optional.
Guests can enjoy fresh oysters at the hotel, although meals are not served. Sakuraya offers a very affordable stay in a beautiful area.
4. Hotel Miya Rikyu (from $196)
This is a 4 star hotel only 5 minutes walk from Itsukushima Shrine and boasting sweeping views, even from the public baths. Guests can enjoy the traditional Japanese rooms, with soft tatami-mat flooring and comfortable futons, plus multi-course meals. Each room is air-conditioned, has its own refrigerator and en suite bathroom.
Karaoke, massage and sauna facilities are all available on site.
5. Guest House Kikugawa
This guest house is a popular option among Western travellers on a budget. Traditional Japanese-style rooms with tatami and futons, and Western rooms with beds are available. Meals are available including a good Western breakfast.
Guest House Kikugawa is located opposite Zenkoji Temple.
6. Itsumoya (from $163)
Itsumoya is a 2 storey town house in traditional Japanese-style. It’s a very interesting option since it can be rented as a whole! This non-smoking property has its own small Japanese garden, and appealing wooden carvings.
Guests sleep upstairs on traditional futons on tatami flooring.
Itsumoya is located only a 2 minute walk from the ferry terminal.
7. Iwaso (from $220)
This traditional inn is located 5 minutes walk from Itsukushima Shrine and 10 minutes from the aquarium. The ryokan has soothing indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, as well as massages being available.
There is a 24 hour front desk, on site souvenir shop, and karaoke. Traditional multi-course meals of seafood and local ingredients can be enjoyed in the dining area or guests’ private rooms.
8. Miyajima Guest House Mikuniya (from $33)
Last but not least, albeit one of the cheapest you’ll find, is Japanese-style accommodation 15 minutes from the ferry terminal. Guests are able to stay in a private room or keep the cost to a minimum by sharing a dormitory room with other guests. There are shared bathrooms, showers and toilets. Lockers, a washing machine and kitchen facilities are also available.
Guests can enjoy the common lounge, meet other travellers and plan the next day’s sightseeing using the tourist guide books and desktop computer.
Mikuniya is a 6 minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine, and can arrange bicycle rentals.
With the range of rooms and prices on offer, there is surely something of interest to everyone. Common to all the facilities is a wonderful location, a short walk from world heritage sites and all you need for an incredibly Miyajima experience.
Free Wi-fi is normally available, and basic requests can normally be handled in English – although it’s worth confirming when making a reservation.