Ferry to Miyajima
After a one-hour rest break, I left for Miyajima, one of the three most beautiful sights in Japan, according to something someone famous said in the 17th century. Miyajima, the Heavenly Bridge near Kyoto, and Matsushima were the three most beautiful sights in Japan. To this day, they’re all “must see” places.
So far, he’s absolutely right. Miyajima is definitely a must-see if you’re going to Hiroshima. It’s also a good place to get all of the death and destruction of the past out of your brain, too.
JR runs a ferry a block away from the Miyajimaguchi station. Follow the crowds of people running. They’re probably all running to catch the ferry. The ferry is pretty cheap– 340 yen for a round trip. The JR pass might cover it, but I didn’t want to waste time finding out, because I didn’t want to miss it. They collect the tickets on the Miyajima side. If you want to go round trip, don’t lose your tickets.
So the first thing you’ll see is the big O-torii. (I’m not calling it an O-torii gate, because that’s sort of like saying “Hot water heater.” O-torii means “Gate” in Japanese anyway.) It’s a stunning sight with the Itsukushima Shrine right behind it. If you’re going to Miyajima, bring the best camera you have. I was made painfully aware of the limitations of the camera I brought with me here. I guess that’s where I sacrificed to save weight.
Anyway, some photos as I approached Miyajima:
Closeup of the big red o-torii:
Getting close to town:
I got off of the ferry and headed to Itsukushima Shrine. On the way, you’ll pass another one of those huge rows of souvenir shops that litter every famous site in Japan. If you want cheap stuff, this is the place to get it. If you want nice stuff, look elsewhere. I prefer to get the little cheap cell phone straps that come randomly out of the 200 yen machines. So far I have the Geisha from Kyoto, the deer from Nara, and the red O-torii from Miyajima.
Another thing about Miyajima is that they have more sacred deer here, and that means more sacred deer poop. Watch your step.
I saw a deer tearing up the men’s room, going after the trash to try to find a snack, I guess. Didn’t get a photo, though. Dang.
On to the shire itself. It’s everything I expected it to be. Gorgeous. I took plenty of pictures, and enjoyed the scenery. Have a look.
Entering the shrine, komainu guard the entrance:
As I turned the corner, there was a good spot to get a zoomed in shot of the big red o-torii (it’s actually a good distance away):
Entering the shrine:
The walkways around the shrine buildings:
I like this shot:
Looking back towards the land, you can see a pagoda towering above:
More photos of the buildings:
Main Shrine area:
This bridge is a national treasure. Forgot the name:
This is one of my favorite shots:
This one’s not bad, either. Cranes in the frame:
In part three, I head up to the Miyajima Ropeway, and get some good photos from the top of the mountain on the island.