Great Torii, Japan

Less than an hour from Hiroshima is Miyajima, a small island widely regarded to be one of the “Three Most Scenic Spots in Japan”. A claim like that can lead to big expectations, but Miyajima Island has no trouble living up the high praise. Mountains and forests back the island’s historic shrines while gorgeous views of the Seto Inland Sea are never far away.


Miyajima’s “floating” torii gate is impossible to miss, as it’s the first thing we saw when approaching the island by ferry. The Great Torii is Miyajima’s most recognizable site and is especially popular at sunset, when photographers and tourists alike line the shoreline to capture their own version of the iconic photograph.


We recommend walking past it a few times a day. At high tide, the torii looks as though it is floating in the water. When the tide is out, you can walk right up to it. Of course, don’t miss it at sunset, but it’s also worth sticking around until after dark when the torii is illuminated by warm light.

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