Spend a leisurely time in a historic townscape
One of three routes leading to Itsukishima Shrine from Miyajima Pier, Machiya Street, which is located behind Miyajima Omotesando Arcade, is an avenue which retains an air of the past. Get a feeling of the lifestyle of Miyajima residents with rickshaws and cars coming and going. The traditional machiya (townhouses) of Miyajima have been called “eel beds”, with a narrow entrance and a long space toward the back being their features. The fun also lies in checking out and dropping by establishments such as retro modern accommodations, shops and cafés which have been converted from residential buildings. Gallery Miyazato, which has merged a teahouse and an antique shop, also holds special exhibitions all the time and is a place where you can enjoy art.
The Hina Meguri to herald the arrival of spring
The Hina Meguri (Doll Festival) is annually held from late March to early April. This traditional Japanese event which celebrates the health and happy growth of girls has dolls decorating 30 different places including merchant houses and residences and can be viewed freely by anybody. A variety of doll decorations can be seen such as those reminiscent of the Edo Era, and unusual chubby dolls known as takebina made from bamboo. At this time when the cherry blossoms bloom, there are also tea ceremonies and garden concerts so that visitors can feel the advent of spring.
A strolling avenue at night with the atmospheric light of the lanterns
There are paper-covered lanterns just in front of the residences of Machiya Street. On each of these 51 lanterns, there are various designs illustrated which are changed 3 times a year. Every day from 30 minutes after sunset to 11pm, the lanterns are lit up which contribute to a calming time here that is different from the daytime. Most of the shops are closed by that time, but you will appreciate the stroll as you view the designs on the lanterns on the street at night.