Miyajima (宮島) is an island near Hiroshima (広島), well known for its wild deer, exciting mountain cable car, and the famous Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社). Miyajima is visited by hundreds of tourists every day and is easily accessible from Hiroshima Station (広島駅). It is considered one of the top three scenic spots in Japan and is recommended for lovers of nature, Japanese shrines, and Hiroshima cakes – momiji manju (もみじ饅頭).
Many people who decide to visit Miyajima opt to take a day trip there from Hiroshima City (広島市). You can access the island easily by taking a train on the San’yo Line (山陽線) for around 30 minutes and then a 10-minute ferry ride.
Although a day trip is what most people choose to do, consider spending a night or two on the island. That way, you can enjoy various sights outside of peak tourist hours, or experience a breathtaking sunset or sunrise near the floating shrine. One great hotel to stay at on Miyajima Island is Sakuraya (さくらや).
The hotel is located less than a five-minute walk from the ferry terminal and just a few minutes’ walk from Itsukushima Shrine, making it easily accessible even if you have a lot of luggage. Turn right when you exit the terminal, keeping close to the sea. Sakuraya is on the left. You can easily spot it by the cute tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) statue standing to greet you outside.
The hotel is very clean and the staff is kind and friendly, always smiling and ready to help if you have a problem.
A single room is spacious and Japanese-style, with a ready-made futon bed, a table and pillows to sit on, a television, a kettle, and some free green tea and sweets. Each room has a private toilet, an air conditioner with English instructions, and a closet with spare blankets and pillows if you need them.
There is no private bath or shower in your bedroom, but on the basement floor is a public bath, complete with complimentary shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
In your room, you’ll find a yukata and slippers to wear to the bath. Towels are also provided. The public bath hours are from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM, but if you need to use the shower in the morning, ask the staff the day before and they will try to accommodate you if possible.
Although there is no restaurant in the hotel, the establishment offers breakfast for just 500 yen. The breakfast is well worth the money and recommended if you decide to go. It includes thick toast with butter and jam, a hard-boiled egg, and a salad. You also get orange juice and a choice between coffee and earl grey tea, both of which are very good.
The breakfast is quite simple but very affordable and keeps you full for most of the day. Both the days we chose to have breakfast, we ended up skipping lunch.
The hotel will also provide you with a map of the local area and nearby recommended restaurants, most of which are within just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.
As mentioned earlier, Sakuraya is in between the ferry terminal and Itsukushima Shrine, so it is just a short stroll to see Miyajima’s most famous spots. After walking up Mt. Misen (弥山), shopping for souvenirs, or exploring all that Itsukushima Shrine has to offer, it’s great to be able to wander back to your hotel instead of having to catch the ferry and train all the way back to Hiroshima City. If Miyajima is on your list, don’t hesitate to book a night or two at the gorgeous Hotel Sakuraya, an affordable yet unforgettable hotel that makes your Japanese journey a little more special.