Exploring Miyajima

Todays adventure was a trip to the island of Miyajima, travelling by high speed ferry. As we walked along the road to the ferry dock, we discovered a line of ‘cherry trees’ that turn out to be plastic and look as if they light up!

0 - plastic cherry trees

The boat left from a dock near the Peace Park (I’ll write a separate blog about that). We could see the A-dome as we left – this building ruin is the only building left from when the atomic bomb was dropped. Every other building was demolished and the city rebuilt. You can just see it in the distance with the round dome, under the mountain.

0 - Hiroshima in the morning

When we arrived at Miyajima, the key feature is the Tori gate that sits in the water and, at high tide, it looks as if it floats. Unfortunately, we were there at low tide.

0 - tori gate

There is also a shrine that we walked around and there was some kind of ceremony relating to food with priests carrying food from the back of the shrine to the side. On the way around, I saw all these sake barrels stacked up.

0 - barrels of sake in temple

I left the group after the shrine because I wanted to go to the top of Mt Misen and then walk down. Since we only had a few hours, I wanted to make sure I had time. On the way to the ropeway (ie cable car), I passed this lady cooking oysters. These are farmed just off the islands.

0 -  cooking oysters

On the cable car, I was sitting opposite two Japanese girls who were great fun, particularly, the younger one.

0 - riding the cable car

We had to change cable cars at the half way point but the views from the top of the cable car were stunning

0 - view from top of cable car

From the top of the cable car, there was a 30 minute walk down a slope and then back up again to get to the summit of Mt Misen.  Just before the summit there is an archway formed by the rocks called Kuguri-iwa (Duck under Rock).

0 - holy stone to summit

It was worth the walk and the view from the observatory at the top was stunning because it was a pretty clear day with sunshine.

0 - view from summit 4 0 - view from summit 3

I then started the long walk down. It should take about an hour but actually took me 1.5 hours although I was stopping to take lots of photos. The path was largely steps so it was fairly slow since the steps were steep and uneven. I passed a number of people who were walking up the path to the summit and I had considered this but realised I did not have enough time. That would have been true because I only got back down to the Daishoin temple 30 minutes before we were meeting and I spent 10 minutes looking around the temple.

On the way down, I was expecting to see a waterfall. What I saw instead was the remains of a large landslide where the valley has now been dammed to control the flow.

0 - damming the landslide 0 - water going down the valley

The flow of water is controlled and although there was very little when I was visiting, I can imagine in Spring, it must flow vigorously.

After walking for 2.5 km down steps, I finally arrived at the Daishoin temple which was stunning.  My photos do not do justice because I was using my phone as a camera and it isn’t great at landscapes!

0 - Daishion temple 2

I was able to walk up into the temple where they had Buddhist prayers on rollers on the banisters – I saw these in Tibet but there they were much larger.

0 - prayer columns on banister 0 - ringing the bell

There was also a young boy ringing the bell in the temple

I walked back into the town, stopped at a coffee shop and picked up a coffee and cake for my lunch before walking to the ferry meeting place. I arrived 1 minute before we were due to meet and was the third person there! I sat down and had lunch before catching the ferry back.

Once back, we went to the Peace Park and I’ll write the blog on that later.

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