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Miyajima

 

In the harbor near Hiroshima City is one of the most amazing places I visited in Japan, the island of Miyajima, with its stunning floating torii arch, beautiful shrines and temples, and lots of things to see.. It is very popular with tourists, and its easy to see why. It is classified as a National Treasure. There are no roads to it. You have to take a ferry, which is about 700 yen round-trip. Also, the port is about a 40-minute street car ride from downtown Hiroshima, but it was well worth the trek. Ironically, the shrines and the temples on the island survived the A-bomb, but were partially destroyed by a typhoon about 10 years ago. They were rebuilt immediately afterwards.

 

 

 

Here are a couple of shots near the port. Like I said, it is kinda touristy. This statue is someone called Nanryou-ou. Maybe an ancient king.

 

 

 

Miyajima is famous for its beautiful Floating Torii.

 

 

 

 

So once you actually reach the island, there are souvenir shops and snack stands everywhere. There are also a passel of deer. The deer are believed to be messengers of the gods, and these messengers are not shy about coming up to you and sniffing through your hands or pockets for food. There are vendors selling Deer Biscuits to feed them. Observe the Clueless Gaijin petting a typical specimen. Most of the males have their antlers cut off, but I saw some near the top of the island that still had their antlers

 

 

 

This is a five-storied pagoda next-door the shrine. Built in 1407.

 

This temple stands on the hill above the shrine. It is huge, called the Pavilion of 1000 Tatami Mats. Built in 1587.

 

 

The highlight of the trip to Miyajima was the Ropeway that could take you to the summit of the island. The cost was about 1700 yen round trip, but well worth it. It took like 30 minutes to make the trip one way. It was amazing.

 

 

 

So when you get to the top of the Ropeway, here is the payoff, a spectacular view. There are signs all around there saying not to feed the monkeys. I did not see any monkeys, unfortunately, though it would have been very cool. They were probably hiding from the rain. There is a great observation point here at the very summit of the island.

 

 

This famous shrine was founded in 593, yes, that's right, 593. It is built on stilts over the cove.

 

 

This torii shrine stands about 50 ft. tall, and indicates that the entire island is sacred. The first torii in the bay was built in the 12th century. When the tide goes out, one can walk out to the enormous torii, and we can see just how big the thing is. If you can throw a coin onto the top of one of the lower horizontal pieces, you are supposed to have good luck. I wonder what it means if it takes you 20 tries.... maybe that persistence makes its own luck... A metaphor for writing perhaps...?

 

Observe the man by himself with the bucket on the right side. He is digging for clams. There were people all across the sand digging for clams