Located across from Onomichi in Hiroshima, you'll find Mukaishima Island. Its location is part of how the island got its name – the kanji 向島 literally translates to "facing opposite island." The island also makes up part of the Shimanami Kaido, one of Japan's most popular cycling routes.
Even if you're not cycling the whole Shimanami Kaido, the circumference of Mukaishima clocks in at just under 20 kilometers, making it an easy spot for a day of exploring.
Places to visit
If you want to appreciate the island and the surrounding area from a great vantage spot, head to the Takamiyama Viewpoint. It's recommended to head to the viewpoint by car unless you're a very enthusiastic cyclist, but when you reach the area you can see the neighboring islands of Momojima and Yokoshima, the Innoshima Bridge, and plenty more. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are available on-site.
Spanning a length of approximately 140 meters, Mukaishima Bridge connects Mukaishima to Iwashi Island and is regarded as a scenic spot in and of itself. The sunset views from the bridge are particularly special, so it's worth trying to plan your visit around that timeframe.
Ushio Chocolatl is an artisanal chocolate shop located around 10 minutes by car from the Takamiyama Viewpoint, and it was opened back in 2014. A large majority of the products sold here are vegan friendly, and they're packaged in a way that makes them perfect for gifting. They also sell a variety of drinks and ice creams, which can be enjoyed in-store whilst appreciating the stunning views.
For those seeking somewhere to grab a meal, Tachibana Shokudo is a popular local spot. Fresh and flavorful dishes are on offer here, including salads, soups, ramen, and more. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, with the outdoor seats providing a perfectly picturesque water view.