Miyajima is home to the most venerable ryokan in the Hiroshima area; Iwaso. As the earliest inn to be built on Miyajima, the Iwaso ahs the monopoly on the loveliest part of Miyajima's famous Momiji-dani (Maple Leaf Glen), where a sparkling clear stream trips over rocks shaded my maples. After opening the inn in 1893, the original owner of the Iwaso developed the are by building a tea shop and filling the glen with momiji. The inn itself was meticulously constructed in the finest woodworking traditions of the miya-daiku (shrine carpenters), and has been host to royalty since ever. Japan's first prime minister, Hirobumi Ito, novelists Soseki Natsume and Ogai Mori, all stayed at the Iwaso.
Members of the imperial family have one set of hanare (detached rooms), the Shifuku-kan, reserved for their use.
Dinners are Kyoto-style kaiseki, starting with appetizers and clear soup and going all the way through the grilled, fried, boiled, and vinegary dishes plus anano (congee eel) sushi, a specialty of the area. Expect lots of oyster dishes in winter, since this is Hiroshima main delicacy.
On the next day, an invitation for lunch at Seki-Tei, a hot spring inn with a lovely garden. Set in a sleepy residential area with a distant view of Miyajima, this hillside inn has a magnificently manicured garden and just ten rooms in individual structures. Seki-Tei has a fine atmosphere and an excellent reputation among Hiroshima locals. Most seems to go there to enjoy an elegant lunch and hot spring baths (onsen). The specialty here is anago bento-rice topped with subtly flavored grilled conger eel from Miyajima Bay, right on the inn's doorstep. The original owner of Seki-Tei created anago bento and it has since become Hiroshima's main food souvenir. The inn has both a rotemburo and an indoor cypress bath. Lunch followed with a bath was a true delight.