Miyajima-guchi station is the gateway to Miyajima and it’s World Heritage listed Itsukushima Shrine. Almost everyone arriving at the station is about to visit the island but not Tokyo Fox though! One likes to do things differently and so I headed in the opposite direction on a fairly lengthy walk up into the hills just to see the exterior of an intriguing looking building which I’d read about in a magazine.
When I arrived at Itsukaichi Station that morning my idea was to go eastwards towards the city but then I changed my mind completely. 12 minutes later I was at my destination station and set off on a forty minute journey to see the bizarrely named Seen Grove Museum In Sea (below) which is some kind of wood art museum though I can’t confirm that for sure!
It was renewed in September 2005, is owned by some kind of religious cult and can supposedly be viewed from the aforementioned shrine on Miyajima. Despite having been to the island numerous times I’ve never actually visited the shrine as the line of visitors waiting to enter is just always so long. It is believed that, when looking through the floating torii gate, you can see this strange white building in the distance.
There are three golden buddha’s on the roof looking down on you but despite the slightly quirky exterior the inside is fairly normal looking. Next to the building was a giant white stone rabbit in front of what was a big tree not that you can really tell from my photo!
Back in the city I stopped off at Shin-Hakushima station (below) where I realised the Astram Line station was quite a cool looking example of modern architecture. Unlike Tokyo, many of the stations in Hiroshima have comfortable seats for passengers to wait on which is one of those simple pleasures in life often missing in the capital where seats in just about any public spaces are very rare.
That wasn’t the only excursion during our week in Hiroshima for there were a few more short trips to break things up a bit as there’s only so long you can just sit around at home eating, drinking, napping, watching TV and so on. At the start of our trip I went with my wife and mother-in-law to Hiroshima Festival Outlet Marina Hop (below) which is apparently a bit of a fading outlet mall complex that continues amidst constant speculation that it may close down one day.
It was quite deserted when we went there but in fairness that may have been due to the date (December 30th) we went there.
After a refreshment break in a dog cafe (above) we took Momiji for a bit of a walk and ended up on a beach (below) which we had all to ourselves. The dream for many people but as you can imagine in December it was far from being anything like beach weather!
A few days into 2017 and we visited a popular hot spring bath in Yuki town which was nice and shows how far I’ve come these last few years in terms of accepting this part of Japanese culture as almost normal now. At the back of the baths was a short walking trail alongside the river offering some lovely views of the surrounding mountains.
The day before that we returned to Gokurakuji-yama (below) which roughly translates as heaven temple mountain and is a place we have visited a few times now with my first time being in 2014. It also gave us the chance to engage in the custom that is known as hatsumode (symbolic first visit of the year) which pretty much every Japanese person does on January 1st or shortly after that.
The main reason for going was not that though as it was all about giving Momiji a different place to explore and she was in her element there racing about like there was no tomorrow.
Click here to read ‘Simply The Breast Temple In Japan’