Low Tide, High Hopes – Miyajima’s Tori Gate

Miyajima Island is well known as the home of the ‘floating tori gate’. You’ve seen the pictures – a majestic red gate peeking out from the calm waters of the sea. But, a jounrey there at low tide has it’s magical sides too!

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At low tide, everyone has the opportunity to walk right up to the gate – although it’s a little more tricky than you might imagine. Just a few meters walk took me a good 20 minutes as I dashed around, doing my best to avoid sinking into the wet sand, and trying to keep my shoes dry. When you do reach the gate though, it’s all totally worth it! Seeing this giant gate so close, really is a great experience. The bright orange paint is still a striking colour since its construction in 1875. Close up, you can see the beautiful wood patterns, and touching the gate feels like a very special experience.

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Along the bottom of the gate, the part that’s usually below the water, you can see the affects of the sea. The bases are covered in little sea creatures, barnacles, crabs, and money! You can see hundreds of 1 and 5 yen coins that people have dedicated to the Gods here. 5 yen coins are particularly lucky here in Japan.

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Even though there are still crowds here during low tide, it’s a lot quieter than you’d probably expect. You’re also likely to see a number of locals, and tourists searching the beach for crabs, and other sea creatures that have been washed up. I nearly stood on one crab as I was fighting my way through the squishy landscape. Luckily I noticed it before I squashed it, even though it nearly caused me to lose my footing and fall face first into the sand!

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Read more about Hiroshima, and the nearby Okunoshima (Rabbit) Island to help you plan your trip to this beautiful part of Japan! And check out my recommendation for Hana Hostel Hiroshima for a great place to stay during your visit!

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