When you list Miyajima (宮島) as one of the destinations on your itinerary, you really want to make sure you allocate enough time on the island known as “god’s island”. Some suggest that half a day on the island is more than enough. Whilst this might be true if you only wanted to take some photos of the Itsukujima Shrine and the famous Great Torii Gate in the sea and stroll around the island’s shopping street – Miyajima Omotesandō Shōtengai/Kiyomori-Dōri (宮島表参道商店街/清盛通り) afterward, it really would be a shame if those really are the only spots on the island you drop by.
Miyajima has way more things to offer. First of all, as the tide comes and goes twice a day about every 6 hours, half a day on the island won’t give you the opportunity to see the scenery of both high tide and low tide at the Itsukushima Shrine. Not even to mention the views are completely different during both daytime and at night time. Second of all, other attractions such as Miyajima Ropeway, Mt. Misen, Momijidani Park, and Daishōin Temple (大聖院) all worth your time to pay them a visit (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
This is why we highly recommend spending a night in Miyajima!
The question that follows will be, so where is the best place to stay? From the luxurious onsen ryokans to the budget-friendly guesthouses, Miyajima provides its visitor a wide range of choices of accommodation facilities. But be warned, always make your booking as early as possible. This is especially the case if you plan to visit during the cherry blossom, autumn foliage season, or when big events are happening on the island!
For more information regarding when is the best time to visit Miyajima, please refer to our Miyajima article (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
Mikuniya Isn’t a Normal Guesthouse
When we are on holiday, our approach to accommodation is to find places that are comfortable but not too pricey. Of course, they also need to be peaceful at night for a good sleep. So when we first come across Mikuniya (三國屋), we were a bit worried because we associate guesthouses with somewhere that might have people partying at night.
But, as the reviews showed the contrary, we decided to give it a try. And we are really glad we did!
Unlike a lot of the guesthouses out there, Mikuniya’s exterior just looks like another local residential house. Without the Mikuniya signboard on the wall, we would totally have walked past it and got lost (≧▽≦).
As we passed through the front gate (it isn’t locked and we have confirmed with the owner you are welcome to come in without ringing the bell), we already started falling in love with this guesthouse.
With the “どうぞ wooden sign (meaning welcome), and the Mikuniya lantern, it rather feels like we are at a ryokan!
Apparently, the whole reason why the guesthouse has this ryokan style is that it was the Mint Bureau (造幣局)’s recreation centre!
As you might know already, the Japanese leave their shoes at the entrance hall. So when in Rome, do as the Roman do and change into the slippers provided. (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
The office of the guesthouse is just next to the entrance to your right, so if no one comes out to greet you, kindly knock on the office’s door.
The Facilities at Mikuniya
Mikuniya’s Living and Dining Area
Just like any other guesthouses, there is a living/dining area. Except at Mikuniya, you are overlooking a gorgeous garden!
In the morning, your chances of spotting a few neighbouring cats are at the greatest for all the cat people (^_-)-☆.
Kitchen at Mikuniya
Mikuniya’s kitchen is adjacent to the living area. You will notice there are lots of food in the cupboards and in the fridge and freezer. The good news is, some of them are complimentary! Currently, the freebies include breakfast-related food such as cereal and toast. Also, the drinks are all free for you to drink (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
But when you check in, please check with the staff again on what is free and when you need to put some money into the money box in the kitchen.
Important: Just because they are free, doesn’t mean take as much as you can. So let’s only take the portion that you can finish in the guesthouse!
Tips: For those who wish to cook, Mikuniya has all sorts of cooking utensils. All you need to bring is your own ingredients. As Miyajima itself only has a small supermarket that closes at 7 pm, it is best to purchase the ingredients from supermarkets in Hiroshima before you hop onto the ferry. And if you can’t be bothered to carry the ingredients all the way to Miyajima, there are quite a few frozen meal options (mostly non-vegetarian) that you can choose from in the freezer!
Mikuniya’s Laundry Area
The laundry area is located just outside of the kitchen. There is a laundry hanging area as well! Below is some more information about the laundry facility at Mikuniya.
- 2 sets of washing machines and dryers are available for anyone who needs them.
- The washing machine will cost you 300 yen each time. There is no need to bring your own laundry powder/liquid as it is part of the washing cycle.
- Dryers will cost you 100 yen for every 20 minutes of use.
So, if you need to use their laundry facilities, remember to have your 100 yen coins ready! You can always check with the staff to see if they can break your note (^_-)-☆.
The Guestrooms at Mikuniya
The guestrooms at Mikuniya are huge!
Forget about all the really small hotel rooms that you will normally find elsewhere in Japan. At Mikuniya, the smallest guestrooms in their main building are the size of 8 tatami mats (one mat is about 0.9m x 1.8m depends on the region).
Our 8 tatami-mat room can basically fit over four people with no issue. And there is even a sunroom attached to the room giving you a bit of the view of the Miyajima township and the sea!
The Futon Bed
If you have never encountered a futon bed in your life, this might be the part of your stay that you struggle with the most (´▽｀*).
At Mikuniya, the bedding equipment is all stored in the wardrobe. When you are ready to make your bed, take them out and put the futon covers and pillowcases on.
And don’t panic if you don’t know how to. When you check in, the staff will give you instructions with photos on how to make your futon bed. It really isn’t all that hard and we actually had fun experiencing this part of the Japanese culture!
If you are still unsure, checkout the below YouTube video!
And here you go, the whole process shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes!
Toilet and Shower Facilities at Mikuniya
- Amenities that you will normally expect at normal hotels are provided at Mikuniya. This includes facial and bath towels, hairdryers, shampoo, conditioners, body soap…etc. You will however need to bring your amenities that are less essential such as toner and moisturiser
- The toilets aren’t unisex at Mikuniya. So, please read the sign on the door carefully
- There are shower rooms on each floor. And if you want to take a relaxing bath, one of the shower room also comes with a bathtub
Mikuniya’s New Building
If you prefer everything new and shinny, then make sure you book a room in their new building!
The building was only completed in May 2020, so your room will be filled with the refreshing dried straw smell from the tatami mats (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
The brand new shower and toilet facilities are comparable to the quality of those in luxirous hotels. And if you want to take a bath, you are always welcome to utilise the bathtub at the main building.
Another bathing option is visiting other hotels nearby. With 500 yen, you can enjoy a relaxing bath at Kikunoya (ホテル菊乃家)!
The Raccoon Dogs at Mikuniya
Raccoon dogs aren’t uncommon in Japan. And in Miyajima, they are around as well.
But have you seen a white raccoon dog before? They are so rare and special that Miyajima’s residents believe they are god’s messengers (just like the deer)!
Apparently, there are a couple of white raccoon dogs living in Miyajima. It is said that if you are lucky enough to spot one, something good will happen to you (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
Another great benefit of staying at Mikuniya is your chances of spotting one largely increase as soon as you booked the guesthouse.
Whether it is the normal brown ones or the special white ones, they might appear in front of you when you least expect them. For us, the white little fellows were just happily having their dinner when we were back from our photo session at the Great Torii Gate!
Check-in and Check-out Time at Mikuniya
- Check-in can be done from 3 to 9 pm
- Please remember to check out by 10 am. The staff will be at the office from 9 am. If you wish to check out earlier than that, please make sure you pre-arrange with the guesthouse so keys are handed to the staff
- You are welcome to leave your belongings before you check in and after you check out
How Much Does It Cost to Stay at Mikuniya
- Private rooms are available if you have two or more people in your group. Price is starting at 6,000 yen per person
- If you are travelling by yourself or would like to save some money, their shared guestrooms and dormitory costs 4,000 yen per person
How to Get to Mikuniya
To get to Mikuniya, firstly, you have to get to Miyajima. Please refer to our Miyajima article for the access information.
From Miyajima Pier, it takes around 15 to 20 mins walk to get to Mikuniya.
☛ As Mikuniya is located on the hill leading to Daishōin Temple, be prepared to walk uphill and try to travel light. You can also catch a taxi if you don’t want to walk but please note traffic restrictions applies on roads in Miyajima during the day. Accompanied by the large crowd of tourists, catching a taxi might be a slower option to get to the guesthouse.
☛ Once you checked in, you can borrow the electric bikes from the guesthouse to move around!