Oct 312007

I spent about 30-40 minutes at Itsukushima Shrine, then had to hoof it up the mountain to the ropeway, because it was starting to get late in the day.

The Ropeway is a gondola-type thing that hangs from a cable system and carries you up the mountains, because otherwise you’d be there climbing for a few days. The path up to the Ropeway station at the bottom is pretty, albeit slightly cardiac-arrest-inducing. You’ll pass some very pretty scenes and more deer.

If you’re planning on a trip to Japan, and you want to go to places like Miyajima, then you’d better be in good shape, or else you will surely regret it.

From the Shrine to the Ropeway

Leaving the Shrine, I passed a canal and some shops:

Backstreets of Miyajima

Another shot of the canal and a bridge:


On the way, I saw this giant rice paddle at a restaurant:

Giant Rice Paddle

Then I passed through one of the neighborhoods:

Streets of Miyajima

On the way to the Ropeway, I passed some o-torii. There’s a shrine nearby, but I didn’t have time to visit:


And then I crossed this bridge, and was close to the Ropeway station:


The upside to the ropeway is that it offers incredible views. The downside is that it’s 1,800 yen round-trip. There’s usually an option to go one-way (up) and walk down a road past more shrines and temples, but the road got washed out by a typhoon, and it would take hours, anyway. So I went round-trip.

Get the Rope! (Ropeway, that is!)

As I left the station and started the trip up to the top of Mt. Misen, I started taking pictures.

The station from my little car:

On the Ropeway to Shishiwa Station on Mt. Misen

Heading up the ropeway, you can see the other cars coming back:

On the Ropeway to Shishiwa Station on Mt. Misen

The view from the Ropeway is incredible. This is Miyajima-Guchi, where I took the ferry. I just wish there was a cable filter:

Miyajima-Guchi from the Ropeway

DyDo Drinco supports my trip!

DyDo Drinco Supports My Trip...

There was this little beat-up box that would supposedly give me a narration for 100 yen, but I didn’t want to risk 100 yen on it. The black lump is my backpack:

Looking out the Window...

At Kayatani Station, I had to change from a small car to a big car. There goes my privacy!

Changing Cars Halfway Up

Looks like I’ll have it all to myself:

Bigger Gondola

Views from the bigger car are still incredible:

View of a Small Town

Mt. Misen Summit/Shishiwa

After about 20 minutes of riding various cars, I made it to the top of the mountain. The sun hadn’t set yet, I exposed this shot for the sky:

Mt. Misen Summit/Shishiwa

The views from the top are incredible. Really incredible. Just wonderful. I went right around sunset, and was rewarded. But I couldn’t stay too long, because the ropeway closes at 5:30 p.m.

I’m not sure my camera could capture the beauty of these views. I guess I’ll have to go back to Miyajima when I come back to Japan.

Anyway, here are some of my efforts to capture the beauty of the views. Enjoy.

Inland Sea

Inland Sea

Inland Sea

Inland Sea

I used the zoom here to zoom in on Hiroshima. You can see one of the Ropeway stations.

Hiroshima from Mt. Misen

I headed to the observation platform to take more pictures. It almost felt like you could just sail off the cliff. (You couldn’t, it was perfectly safe. It’s just an optical illusion.)

Observation Deck

One of the islands:

Inland Sea

Another island:

Inland Sea

I like this shot.

Inland Sea

View of the inland sea

The sun started to go behind the summit:

Mt. Misen Sunset

Mt. Misen Sunset

Sunset over the Inland Sea:

Sunset over the Inland Sea

Sunset over the Inland Sea

On the way down the mountain, Miyajima-Guchi from the Ropeway again. This time, you can see the ferry at the bottom:

Miyajima-Guchi from the Ropeway

I came back down the mountain to the ferry, then back to Hiroshima on the train.

Down the Mountain

On the way back to town, a few night shots. It’s a little blurry, but I like this shot of the bridge I crossed earlier at night. (Long exposure.)

Bridge at Night, long exposure

The shops were all closing:

Closing Time

A last shot of the big red O-torii at night. 1-second exposure:

Itsukushima Torii at Night

Guidebooks often say, “It’s a 26 minute train ride, followed by a 10 minute ferry ride.” That does not mean it’ll take you 36 minutes to get there. It’s more like an hour, because you wind up waiting.

Another thing– that cute wooden ichimatsu doll I bought in Kyoto for 1,580 yen? I found the same one here for 1,000 yen. In two stores here. Caveat emptor. It’s only 580 yen, but that’s a bento.

I rushed over to the department store to pick up dinner before it closed, and attempted to do laundry, only to discover that the dryers don’t work very well. So now it’s off to the laundromat down the street to finish up.

Tomorrow is Fukuoka/Hakata, and lots of non-shrine stuff.

Really, if you come to Japan, go to Hiroshima! There are some hard truths and beautiful views waiting for you. And the people are really nice.

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