東広島市立図書館/東広島市デジタルアーカイブ

わたしたちの東広島市(英語)

8 Our Hiroshima Prefecture

(6)Unique areas in Hiroshima Prefecture 

日本語中国語ポルトガル語

Miyajima is one of the three most scenic spots of Japan. Itsukushima Shrine is designated as a World Heritage Site and attracts tourists from around the world. People living in Miyajima protect and use old traditions to earn their living mainly from tourism.
 They hope many people will visit Miyajima.

Let’s study how Miyajima’s traditions are protected and used.

Comment from Mr. Saito of Miyajima Tourist Association
About 4 million tourists visit Miyajima every year.
My work is to promote Miyajima, attract many tourists and make their stay enjoyable.
Miyajima has been a tourist spot since the Edo Period. I think Miyajima is popular for being an island only accessible by ferry, as well as for its historical buildings and cute deer.
I hope people who come to Miyajima will find a lot of charm, such as Itsukushima Shrine, other monuments, townscape, food, and nature.


Itsukushima Shrine and big Torii gate

Momiji Manju

Japan’s biggest rice scoop

Deer popular for their cuteness

Protecting traditions
Protecting traditional events
 There are many traditional events in Miyajima, which people try to pass down to future generations.

Kangen Festival held every summer

Other traditional events

Tanomosan
It is an annual event to pray for an abundant rice and vegetable harvest.


Chinkasai Festival
It is a festival to pray for protection from fire on New Year’s Eve.

 
Protecting traditional culture
 Traditional Miyajima Woodwork, which includes wooden trays and bowls, is still practiced in Miyajima.
 It is a traditional craft full of warmth and brings out the wood pattern.


Miyajima Woodwork craftsmen

Miyajima Woodwork souvenirs

Protecting old buildings

There are many historical buildings in Miyajima. Most of them are designated as National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties. To protect them, workers go around checking them and repair any damage.
The biggest threats are typhoons. Itsukushima Shrine was severely damaged by Typhoon 19 in 1991. It took three years and a half to complete the repair.
 

Trivia 【Can you find this in Miyajima?】
Normal postboxes are rectangular, but round postboxes from the past are still used in Miyajima.

Protecting nature
Most parts of Miyajima are mountains and forests. Residential areas occupy only a small part. There are still wild forests with unique creatures in the mountains of Miyajima. People in Miyajima maintain the mountain to protect this mountain forest.


Miyajima dragonfly
It is a rare species of dragonfly found only in Miyajima.

 
   Trivia
Miyajima Island has been considered to be a god, so it was forbidden to cut trees or dig the ground. So, rich nature still remains today.

Using tradition
 
People in Miyajima protect their tradition and use it for tourism. They work hard and have ideas to attract many tourists.
Why do many tourists visit Miyajima?

Signs
Miyajima is accessible by ferry. There are tourist signs and flags outside the pier. A large map for tourists is located in front of the pier. The tourist information center is also located at the pier. Signs are written in English, Chinese, and Korean for foreign tourists.


Facilities
Miyajima has many facilities for tourists. Parking lots, bicycle parking, and a taxi stand are located in front of the pier. Public toilets and trash cans can be found all over the island.


 Miyajima also has beaches, parks, camping sites, and an aquarium.
 Mount Misen is accessible by gondola. You can see many wild monkeys and enjoy a beautiful view of the islands in the Seto Inland Sea.

Aquarium

Gondola

Trivia
Trash cans in Miyajima have lids!
This is because hungry deer would eat from trash cans.Some deer even became sick after eating plastic.

Shopping district
Miyajima has a shopping district where there are many souvenir shops so that tourists can shop easily. The shopping district is roofed to make shopping easy even on rainy days. It also holds various events.
Miyajima also has many inns for tourists who stay overnight. Some inns pick up their customers at the pier by bus.



Advertising
Advertising is essential to attracting a lot of tourists. The Miyajima Tourist Association promotes Miyajima by making pamphlets, having articles about Miyajima written in books, presenting about Miyajima in Tokyo, and through its website.

Holding new events
 In addition to traditional events, new events such as the Oyster Festival, and Fireworks Festival, concerts, and sports competitions are held in Miyajima to attract tourists.
 

Fireworks Festival

Oyster Festival

People in Miyajima work hard to attract tourists.

Trivia   【The first rice scoop was made by a monk!】
Although rice scoops are known as a Miyajima souvenir today, Miyajima did not have a distinctive souvenir until the Edo Period.
A Buddhist monk called Seishin came up with an idea to make the rice scoop a souvenir, inspired by the musical instrument carried by a god called Benzaiten (Sarasvati).
He also dug wells for people who used to suffer from the lack of water. He is called the “benefactor of Miyajima.”