Having arrived back from Vietnam early morning we returned home for a few hours before leaving mid afternoon on the Shinkansen (only my second time to ride on the bullet train) heading 500 miles west to Hiroshima. This wasn’t actually my first time to visit the iconic city as I spent a couple of days back there in December 2005. Like that time, Miyajima was the first port of call on what was a warm Spring day with short showers waiting ahead. I’d completely forgotten that the area was full of some very tame deer as you can see below.
In the land of cheesy photo opportunities I couldn’t resist getting some pictures taken with a samurai lord in the foreground of the red floating torii gate. Well worth the ¥200!
This most photographed of Japanese sites is not so impressive when the tide is out so we didn’t linger too long in this area, instead saving it for after we had returned from climbing Mount Misen (530m) which is the islands finest walk. The Momijidani Course took us about 90 minutes to reach the summit where typically it started to rain as soon as I had climbed on to the top of highest rock to see the view.
At the top there were quite a few jizo dotted around the place which for some reason were clad in hats and even glasses. The descend took us down a different route which is always far nicer than passing the same points again
Back down at ground level there was time for some photos of the floating torii which I first knew about only back in 2002 when the World Cup was co-hosted by Japan and this torii featured in the BBC’s opening titles which you can see here. What took us by surprise was that, having just returned from Vietnam the day before, the tourist boat rowing in, out and around the torii was full of people wearing the famous conical hats. Immigrants perhaps!!
That was pretty much the end of an enjoyable day trip but not before one final taste of a few local delicacies. Cucumbers on a stick was a new one on me but not novel enough to warrant forking out a few hundred yen. Instead we sampled squid and the oysters below which were very tasty.