Visiting Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island, an island off the shore of Hiroshima, is something that many travelers trekking in Japan seek to do. If you are around during the summer, you may even be able to catch the annual fireworks show that is put on right in front of Itsukushima shrine, over the famous floating Red Torii in the water.
I had the amazing luxury and opportunity to stumble across the information that the fireworks show was to be held during my stay in Japan while I was planning my itinerary to Hiroshima, and made sure to work my schedule around the show on Thursday August 11, 2016.
The show itself was incredible. The fireworks themselves were beautifully magnificent, lighting up the sky in the splendid way that fireworks should. Watching the bright explosions light up the Floating Torii simply especially exemplified the excellence of the show.
Here are some tips before planning your trip to see the Miyajima Fireworks Show:
1. Be sure to get to the island early. I arrived in the early morning to visit the shrine to check on the situation and found that many people had already propped up their tripods and set up mats and seats to sit on. If you are planning to shoot and photograph the Fireworks show, you might want to get to the island fairly early, roughly before noon or early afternoon, to pick a good location and set up your equipment.
2. Bring a companion or friend with you if you are traveling with someone - waiting for the show to start may be tiresome if you are alone since you have to get to the show hours beforehand in order to even get to a spot since there are so many people trying to get on the island.
3. Pack some food and definitely bring lots of water. There are very few vending machines on the island, and not that many stores, so it would be easier for you to pack some snacks and water than to buy them on the island. There will be food stands that will be serving food before and during the show, but keep in mind that the lines to these stalls can be excessively long and prices may add up to be quite expensive if you are looking to eat a meal on street food.
4. Book a hotel for the night of the show on Miyajima island. There are a few hotels and even a hostel on the small Miyajima island so be sure to book very much in advance. The humongous lines of people trying to get onto the train from Miyajima to Hiroshima ended up costing me 2 hours! I got back to my hotel in Hiroshima very late that night and regretted not booking a stay on Miyajima island.
5. Finally, make sure to keep your expectations fair! Don't let your expectations rise too high, or you may be disappointed. It is a wonderful show, but conditions including the number of people and crowds, the blazing summer heat, and other various possible situations that you may run into, the experience may be dampened if your expectations are too high.