How to get there
Miyajima is an easy 20 minute train ride from Hiroshima. After the train ride you take a ferry to the island. If you have a JR Rail pass you can get on the ferry for free. When I went there was little to no checking of passes.
Beware of the deer
You’ll find a lot of deer in Miyajima just wandering about. They like to harrass tourists for food. If something is sticking out of your pocket that is somewhat colorful you should be prepared for a deer attack. So watch out!
The Torii in the sea
The most famous sight in Miyajima is Itsukushima Shrine. It’s a “floating” torii gate. Depending on the tide it’s either in the sea or you can walk up to it.
Small mountain hike (Mt. Misen)
There is a 1 hour hike to the top of Mt. Misen that is really worth doing. Along the way you’ll see lots of beautiful nature and tons of waterfalls. It’s not a tough hike but set aside a few hours for this. You’ll want to stop a few times to admire the beautiful nature.
Alternatively you can take the ropeway to get to a higher point faster, after which the hike to the top is only twenty minutes. At the time I was there (July 2014) the ropeway was closed.
Some sources say there are monkeys at the top of the ropeway but we saw none.
Miyajima food and cookies
There’s a little shopping street where you can sample some local specialties. Like everywhere in Japan there is lots of deep fried fish. A local speciality in Miyajima are the Miyajima cookies. These are star shaped cookies that look like this: There’s different ones with different fillings. Most fillings = red beans