Sunday, 15 January 2012

Miyajima Island & the shrine of Itsukushima-jinja

It was a hot sunny day and the destination was Miyajima.  From Hiroshima we got to the island by a combination of tram, train and ferry.  The most famous attraction on Miyajima is the shrine of Itsukushima-jinja, just to the south of the port.  The iconic O-torii rising grandly out of the sea is considered one of Japan’s most beautiful views. 

From the ferry landing we walked along the seafront to the shrine, passing by many other tourists, mostly Japanese as well as tame deer.  The deers like nothing better than posing with you and having their picture taken, especially if you have something for them to eat! 

The plan was just a half-day trip to Miyajima, but we were really enjoying ourselves on the island and decided to go up the 530m Misen-san, Miyajima’s sacred mountain.  After lunch we walked to the cable car station at Momiji-dani-koen, a twenty-minute hike from the ferry terminal.  From there we took the two stage cable-car ride up the mountain.  The walk from here to the mountain summit was around twenty minutes, passing various small temples along the way.  The panoramic views across the Inland Sea were stunning.

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