Miyajima is a town within Itsukushima Island, South of Hiroshima. To get here, you can catch JR from Osaka to Hiroshima then from Hiroshima’s JR station, take a train to Miyajimaguchi station. Once you arrive at the station, take a JR Ferry which takes you to the island. This is why if you have JR Rail Pass, it’d make things easier for you and your budget. Anyway, Summer was the wrong time to go to Miyajima because the weather was unbelievably hot. I don’t even know how I managed to stay that long to take some photos because it’s impossible to stand there underneath the sun and not get drenched by your own sweat. In addition to this, due to the heat, the sea water drops down to below the usual level, making the place not as good as it would have been if the water level is normal. I think Spring or Autumn would be better times to visit the place. Winter would probably be good as well since everything would be covered in snow.
Once the ferry arrived at the Miyajima port, the first things that you see after exiting the dock would be a bunch of deers. These are relatively tame deers you can also encounter in Nara. I do feel sorry for some of them though because their antlers have been severed (to protect visitors). Having said that, they seem to enjoy the presence of the humans, who are more than willing to feed them all sorts of foods. In order to get to the Itsukushima Shrine and The Floating Torii, the Miyajima authorities have cleverly force everyone to go through the Miyajima shoutengai (shopping street), probably in the hope that you’d buy some souvenirs. I saw the world’s largest spatula here. I should have included that as part of the photos but it’s late night now and I’m too tired to process an additional photo. If you go through this shopping street, I’d recommend the Nigiriten (Nigiri Tempura). This is basically a very tasty Kamaboko (Fish cake) stuffed with other ingredients like onions, camembert cheese, bacon, etc. Obviously it’s high in calorie since it’s fried but if you just have one after walking for a couple of kms, I think it’s well-justified. :P
The main attraction of Miyajima Island is the Floating Torii (Gate) located at front of the Itsukushima Shrine. The Torii is basically half-submerged by sea water. When the tide is low during afternoon, you can see the marks of the highest water level. I really wish I had visited the place at a better time of the year because I would have stayed longer and shot some video. I did shot a video but it was very jerky since I couldn’t hold the camera still enough without feeling the heat and the sweat creeping up on me. I was also slightly disappointed to see the low water level since I think Itsukushima shrine would look better when it is half-submerged in water. When I got there, the place looks like it’s a barren wasteland. Well, not exactly, but it’s definitely not as pretty as it would have been if the sea water covers the Shrine’s foundation. The shrine itself is beautiful and is colored in bright red. I wish I had taken more photos of the place but my camera ran out of batteries.4 comments