Another splendid day in Japan: the Seto Inland Sea and the breathtaking Great Torii welcome you from afar. This is Miyajima island, an enchanting place we visited before heading back to Tokyo for our last days in the amazing Land of the Rising Sun.
The island is in the Hiroshima Prefecture, and easily accessible by train and ferry. Besides being less than an hour away from downtown Hiroshima, the good news is that there are no extra charges for Japan Rail users. So we packed our bags, said goodbye to the city of hope, and on Platform 1 got on the Sanyo Line bound for Miyajimaguchi station, where we took a ferry to the island.
A 10-minute cruise and from the ferry, you see the Great Torii standing imponent in the sea, making the view so vividly Japanese, and growing bigger and bigger as the vessel approaches. Just behind it, Itsukushima Shrine. No doubt the Shrine alone is worth the visit to this island of Gods. Floating on the sea, as its torii, it is a truly mystic place.
The typical vermillion, the calm sea, the bright warm sun, and the beautiful Japanese lanterns around it, this Shrine gave me a sense of peace and gratefulness. And I remember thanking my God for letting me be there at that precise moment, safe and sound and happy as a clam, with my favorite person in the world, mio marito.
This was a good day, a fun day in which we were able to experience more of the Japanese culture as well as its food or better said oysters! There are many food stalls along the streets that cook them in different ways, even in skewers and served with mayonnaise. What a treat!
The old town of Miyajima is quite exciting. Besides street food, the shops have a variety of objects that you can take as souvenirs. My favorite one was a Hello Kitty shop that had anything from chopsticks and hairbands to pencil cases and cookies!
And surprinsingly, not only other tourists and locals walk the streets but also deer. Just like in Nara, here too, deer are part of the visit. They stroll around, greeting visitors and hoping for a good soul to feed them.
Then you look up at the sun and see a magnificent five-storied pagoda up a hill, and you cannot miss it. Next to it is Senjokaku Pavilion, a wooden hall whose ceiling is covered in paintings, all different and interesting to look at.
The view from here is spectacular. On one side you see the town, peaceful and surrounded by mountains, and on the other the sea.
On top of this hill with the awe-inspiring view that surrounded us, we agreed that this is the perfect place to live after retirement. So arigato island of Gods, see you again when we’re old and wise.