Miyajima in February?
August 7, 2023 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I'll be in Japan in February and I'm wondering whether it's worth it to visit Miyajima island and the torii gate, given the typical weather that time of year. The plan is to take the train in from Kyoto, stay at a ryokan on Miyajima one night and then head out. I'd like to visit the Peace Park on the way to or from Miyajima, as well.
posted by Atrahasis to Travel & Transportation around Hatsukaichi, Japan (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I can't speak to the ryokan aspect, but I visited Miyajima in winter (early January one year) and enjoyed myself. I spent the day outdoors, and don't remember it being particularly cold. The photos show blue sky with clouds, and people in coats but not hats or gloves, which bears that out.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:20 AM on August 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, I also went in January, although as a day trip from a ryokan in Hiroshima IIRC. I thought was great because it was less crowded than I'd heard it would be! We visited the Peace Park and the museum on a different day and I don't think I would recommend attempting both on the same day.
posted by wintersweet at 6:27 AM on August 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

Best answer: February in Kansai is light jacket over a sweater weather and I can't imagine Hiroshima being much different so I'd think it would be quite nice.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:04 PM on August 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for the helpful answers, all. One follow-up question: did you like Miyajima itself (ambience, sightseeing, etc) in winter, or do you wish you had visited another time?
posted by Atrahasis at 12:59 PM on August 8, 2023

Best answer: My partner and I spent New Years Eve in Miyajima. It was cold, damp and occasionally rainy, but we loved it (there was a fire festival happening at the same time). My partner went up the ropeway to the top of the island, and while the clouds and fog were too low to get the views over the ocean that the island is famed for, it was exceptionally atmospheric and he loved it.

I can't say what the town would be like when a festival wasn't on, but the tea shops were cozy and I enjoyed walking up and down the seaside dodging deer and taking photographs.
posted by telophase at 3:14 PM on August 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

Best answer: To answer your follow-up: the only thing I regret about my visit is that I didn't have enough time to explore the ropeway. (I got as far as the signs telling me how close it was, but had to rush back for the ferry.) Ambience, floating torii gate, roaming deer, relative lack of crowds: all present, correct and enjoyable.

Until your question, it had never crossed my mind to wonder even whether there was a right time of year to visit, let alone whether I'd picked it.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:07 AM on August 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, I also got everything I came for! And some things I didn't expect, like freshly roasted ears of corn sold from stalls, and the fact that the deer made fascinating ticking noises.
posted by wintersweet at 6:31 AM on August 9, 2023 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Dropping back in to post a link to one of the photos from the top of the island, to show how atmospheric it was when cold and rainy: http://travel.mushtee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/image6.jpg
posted by telophase at 1:48 PM on August 9, 2023 [2 favorites]

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