Both my parents agreed that, family stuff aside, the highlight of their holiday to Japan was our day trip to Miyajima where we all climbed Mount Misen. On my last few visits to see the in-laws I’ve been seeking out alternative sightseeing spots to the obvious ones but this time there was no need for that and it was very nice to return to the island with my parents in tow to see the famous floating torii gate for the first time in three years.
It’s very easy to see why this place is loved by so many. Nature at it’s best and all just a short ferry ride away. We didn’t linger too long by the floating torii as the tide was out and so got on with our main task in hand which was to ascend Mount Misen (530m) via the Momijidani course which took us about 90 minutes to reach the summit.
I didn’t realise it at the time but it seems that we took the same route up and down the mountain that my wife and I did on our first trip to Miyajima back in 2013.
It was fairly crowded at the top with some large groups of school children present and all wanting to say hello in English to the foreign contingent of climbers in the vicinity.
With all the recent hype about such animal-concentrated places like rabbit island and fox village, one maybe takes the deer of places like Nara and Miyajma for granted. It really is interesting to see the deer roaming the island freely and they get everywhere. You might expect them to only be at the base of the mountain near Itsukushima Shrine, and though the majority of them do congregate at sea level, there are a few dotted along the mountain going all the way to the very top.
Misen-San wasn’t actually the first mountain we conquered in Hiroshima as the day before, shortly after our arrival, we took Momiji the dog for a walk up nearby Kairoyama (50 metres!!) and around the backstreets of the Itsukaichi area.
On our first night in Hiroshima we all had dinner at home and my father-in-law’s sister and her husband made a great effort in coming from their home in the bordering prefecture Yamaguchi. They had already left by the time one of the pictures above was taken. The other photo is of the six of us out for dinner at a French restaurant on our last night in Hiroshima when it was also my wife’s birthday. Not much fuss is usually made for family birthdays on my wife’s side (nor ours either to be fair!) so I was quite surprised when a cake (below) was brought out for her.
All of that was great but my time in Hiroshima will be remembered (by me) for the moment when my beloved Leicester City won the Premier League title. I had managed to watch our away draw at Manchester United on my tablet on our first night in the city. That wasn’t quite enough to clinch it but in the early hours of the Tuesday morning (May 3rd Japan time) Chelsea came back from 2-0 down to draw against Spurs thereby handing the title to Leicester City for the first time in their 132 year history. My ‘Champions’ flag (albeit the one from the 2013-14 season) was whipped out fairly instantly and draped over our bed.
Subsequently I decided that the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum wasn’t the most apt place for me to go to with my parents so, having driven them there, we left them to their own devices for a few hours, whilst I dealt with the many congratulatory messages and social media relating to our historical miracle title win.
You can read ‘Parents In Japan 2016 Pt III: Osaka’ here