Enjoying Hiroshima's Autumn Leaves

Enjoying Hiroshima's Autumn Leaves

This itinerary will take you to some of Hiroshima's most popular locations - all enhanced in autumn with beautiful hues of red and golden-brown.

Morning: City Sightseeing

Hiroshima station

Walking or Hiroden streetcar

Shukkei-en Gardens

Asano Nagaakira began construction of this garden for his villa the year after he was appointed as the Daimyo of Hiroshima in 1619. The job of creating the garden was left to the tea master Ueda Soko. There is a theory that the garden is said to be comprised of many picturesque scenes created in miniature, or that it is modeled on the West Lake in Hangzhou in China. It was designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty in 1940 and it is also famous for its cherry blossoms and plum blossoms. The Maple Leaf Festival is held in autumn (late November). This is where to come if you want to experience the beauty of autumn in a Japanese garden.

  • Shukkei-en Gardens

Walking

Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima Castle was built by Mōri Terumoto, one of the council of five elders appointed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In the Edo period, it was used by the Fukushima clan and the Asano clan. The castle tower was designated as a national treasure in 1931, but it was later destroyed by the bomb. The castle was restored in 1958 and as part of its 400th anniversary in 1989, the interior was fully refurbished and now acts as a museum detailing the history and culture of Japanese samurai families.Click for details.

  • Hiroshima Castle

Walking and bus

Hiroshima station

Afternoon: move to Miyajima Island

Hiroshima station

JR

Miyajima-guchi Station

Ferry

Miyajima-sanbashi Pier

Walking

Itsukushima Shrine

This majestic shrine with its unique location on top of the water is the most widely recognized shrine in Japan. It took its current form in the 12th century under the orders of Taira-no-Kiyomori. Be sure to savor the contrast of the red shrine and the green mountain in the background. This site was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1996.Click for details.

  • Miyajima
Daishoin Temple

Daishoin Temple is the oldest and most important temple in Miyajima. The famous Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai) is said to have built Daishoin Temple when he came to Miyajima to practice asceticism on Mount Misen. The temple houses several Buddhist images including a famous 11-headed Kannon Bosatsu in the Main Hall. It attracts roughly 500,000 worshippers throughout the year. In autumn, many come to see the Japanese maples in Daishoin. Click for details.

  • Daishoin Temple
Reference: Miyajima

Walking

Ropeway bus (*running from the back of Itsukushima Shrine every 20 minutes)

Ropeway (Momijidani Station to Shishiiwa Station)

Hiking Mt. Misen (Ropeway Shishiiwa Station ~ mountaintop ~ Ropeway Shishiiwa Station. Total 1 hour)

You can view the Seto Inland Sea and the mountains of Shikoku from the summit of Mt. Misen. At a height of 535m, it is the highest point on the island. The mountain has been an object of worship since ancient times and the forests on Mt. Misen have been designated as a natural monument. Near the summit, you can find the Gumonji-dojo created for Buddhist training by the famed Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi, the Sankido Hall, and the Dainichido Hall. These are all surrounded with great boulders and impressive natural scenery. See the itinerary for Mt. Misen on the following page: Click for details.

Ropeway(Shishiiwa Station ~ Momijidani Park)

Momijidani Park

This park is one of the most popular places to view autumn leaves in Hiroshima. The park extends along the Momijidani River running down from Mt. Misen. It is said people planted Japanese maples in Momijidani Park during the Edo period. The park is tended by local gardeners who refrain from trimming or cutting down trees. Thousands flock to the park from middle to late November, when 200 Japanese maples change color into hues of reds and golden-browns.

  • Momijidani Park

Walking

Miyajima-sanbashi Pier

Ferry

Miyajima-guchi

JR

Back to Hiroshima Station

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Photo Courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture
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