Mid-morning we took a train and a ferry ride from Hiroshima to Miyajima island where we spent around seven hours before catching the ferry again after sunset.
The crowds were out and about again today as this is the last weekend of Golden Week. The queues for Itsukushima Shrine were so long when we arrived at high tide, that we wandered up to the Ropeway for a ride up to the top of the island, and a 1.8 kilometre walk back down.
From the Ropeway there were views of the Inland Sea. On the walk down, there were waterfalls, lots of birds and frogs (mostly unseen) and very keen hikers walking UP to the top. Deer roam freely around the island and aren’t averse to opening doors to rubbish bins or nosing around in handbags where they think food might be found.
The area is famous for its oysters, so what are you to do but taste some of the grilled oysters on offer. During the afternoon, we were also compelled to eat a green ice-cream sandwich. Oh, and there may have been some maple leaf shaped tiny cakes with custard cream centres consumed too.
The Great Torii near Itsukushima Shrine is one of the most important cultural structures in Japan. The gate (bird abode) marks the transition between earth and the spirit world.
This is the eighth version, rebuilt in 1875. It stands on its own weight of 60 tons or thereabouts if you want to do the conversion to tonnes. It has two large camphor pillars with the four smaller ones being made of cedar.
When the tide is in, the gate appears to float on the water. When the tide is out, people wander out to get a closer look.