From incredible displays of colour to wonderful and charming nature, these three island of Hiroshima offer quite a distraction from a visit to the city. Enjoy an island untouched by people, an island packed with deer, monkeys, and racoons, or interestingly enough, take a trip to an island populated entirely by rabits:
The island that sits atop the Seto Inland Sea with a circumference of 30km has been worshipped as a deity since ancient times. Itsukishima Shrine which was constructed in the manner of Heian Era palatial architecture and the natural monument of the virgin forest of Mt. Misen have been registered as World Heritage sites, and make up about 14% of the entire island. Deer, monkeys, raccoons and other animals reside on the island, and it isn’t uncommon to even see them in the middle of town. Miyajima is considered alongside the Imperial palace of Matsushima and Kyoto’s Amanohashidate as one of the Three Views of Japan, and is a premier tourist destination of Japan that is visited by 3 million people annually.
Aside from the fact that it is a resort area, Ōkunoshima is virtually a deserted island. With no vehicles on the island generally speaking, time passes slowly and there is a big feeling of a tropical resort with flora of the South Seas such as sago palm and coconut trees in abundance there. The island is also popular with the kids for its rabbits. According to a 2013 investigation, there were 700 rabbits on the island. They come off as nothing but cute when they run up to people looking for food. However, it has to be noted that there are rules in place such as the rabbits cannot be held and that food cannot be left on the asphalt roads. There are various other ways to spend time on the island. Of course, there is fishing, cycling, tennis and camping among the activities, but in the summer, beaches and pools are also open.
It takes 5 minutes by ferry from Tomo-no-Ura. Located in the middle of Setonaikai National Park, the first of its kind in Japan, Sensuijima Island has nature that has not been touched by Man. Aside from the 2 hotels, there is no one else living on the island, and once the final ferry leaves at 9:35 pm, Sensuijima takes on the appearance of a genuine deserted island. It is the habitat of sea fireflies and their blue glow in the water gives that impression of a mysterious island. Between June and September, there are sea firefly tours held at night.