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(Sauntering about in Hiroshima) Part III

The second day (Sunday) was a great day as well. After walking around in the city, I decided I wanted to see Miyajima, too. The last time I was there was when I was still in junior high school.

Miyajima is an island just off the coast from Hiroshima City. It is known for its shrine, the Itsukushima Jinja. Traditionally, it has been regarded one of the top three scenic spots in Japan. It has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (That means Hiroshima has two such sites.)

The shrine had been damaged in recent years, once by a typhoon and another time by an earthquake. Most of the damage has been repaired, fortunately.

Because it was a great day, my mom and I decided to take the sightseeing ferry that takes a roundabout route to Miyajima, rather than the direct shuttle boat. We went to Ujina Port and took the ferry. The sea was clear and beautiful, but the sky was hazy. Spring is usually hazy in Japan, but this time it seems it has mostly from the yellow sand (loess) blowing from China. A lot of cars were covered with a thin film of yellow dust in the morning.

From the ferry, we could see some of the smaller islands around Miyajima and large rafts under which there are oyster beds.

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After we landed, we walked along the coast toward the shrine. The beauty of the shrine lies partly from the fact that it stands in sea water. When we got there, the tide had ebbed, and the ground under the shrine, as well as its famous torii gate, was exposed. There was a sign that warned people not to dig clams there. (Not to ruin the scenic view, I guess.)

The shrine looked beautiful under the sunny sky, and there were tourists all over. There were quite a lot of foreign tourists, too. I not only heard English but also German and saw a group of tourists who appeared to be Scandinavian.

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There was a Shinto wedding as well, and everyone was taking pictures of the newlywed couple and their relations. I did, too, of course. You don't get to see a wedding at Itsukushima Jinja so often!

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For lunch, we had Miyajima's famous anago (conger eel) donburi and some grilled and fried oysters, the local fare. Later, we walked around the little town surrounding the shrine and picked up some gifts to take home.

The day trip to Miyajima was refreshing, being able to see the island for the first time in a long while and simply being close to the sea and feeling the sea breeze in your face!
For more photos, please check out my Flickr album here:

Trip to Miyajima's Itsukushima Shrine
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Great posts Epigene!

I have had the luck to go to Miyajima myself as well a couple of years ago and I have to say that it definitely my favorite place in Japan. I had a great walk with my wife on Mt.Missen (which is very rare because my wife doesn't like mountains that much), and from there we had a superb view over the area, with all these small islands it just looked like chocolate drops in the sea.

Sad to hear about the yellow sand from china, though.
 
That is a great post. Every time I've gone back to Japan to visit relatives I've also visited Miyajima. I didn't know about the local dishe being an eel don burri, I was under the impression the main item there was the manju cakes. I will definitely have to try that next time.

I see deer in your album too, another cool thing I've always loved about Miyajima is being able to walk up to the deer and pet them.
 

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