A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog

O-Torii, Miya-Jima, one of the 'top three' views of Japan

O-Torii at low tide

Itsukishima-Jinja and Sonjikuku Pagoda

Some of Daishoin's hundreds of Buddhist saints

Daisho-in Temple

Daishoin Temple

Daisho-in

Daishoin statues

Daishoin Temple

Spring water and cute Buddhas typical of Daishoin Temple

Daishoin Temple

Daishoin Temple

Another cute Buddha (an Erica pic)

Daishoin Temple

Itsukishima Temple

Wedding photos at Itsukishima Temple

Itsukishima Temple

Miya-Jima view

Miya-jima pagoda

Erica in Miya-Jima cafe eating deep-fried custard cake, yummy!

Lucky Buddhists aren't as insecure as some religions (an Erica pic)

Kintai-Kyo Bridge, Iwakuni

Iwakuni Castle

Kintai-Kyo Bridge, Iwakuni


The main thing we did today was go to the Island of Miya-Jima, home to one of Japan's top three views (historically and 'scientifically' established, along with many other similar such lists that are prevalent in Japan, and indeed Korea too). I think its always nice to go on a ferry, even a very short distance like this one, its like flying in that it feels like it must be a trip to somewhere different and exotic.

The main sights of Miya-Jima are concentrated in a small area near where the ferry lands. The famous view in question is of the massive red Tori sticking out of the water, but our favourite thing by a long way - and possibly our favourite temple yet - was the absolutely gorgeous Zen temple of Daishoin. Daishoin was crawling with statues of Buddhas, saints, etc, many very ilfelike and individual. There were even more than usual of the cute cartoony buddhist saints/monks/kids (or whatever they are) as well.

Sadly, the tide was out so the famous views of the Tori and the nearby temple it belongs to were not at their best, as normally the tori and its associated temple are surrounded by water, but it still all looked good. Nevertheless, I would recommend trying to be there for high tide if possible and if you ever do go. In our wanderings on the island we saw a number of other nice temples, the biggest rice spoon in the world, a Japanese media star of some sort and his adoring fans, deep fried custard cakes (yum!), and a lot of feral deer. Then it really started to rain and we decided to bail out and go home.

But as the rain had cleared by the time we got off the ferry again, we took a train along the coast to Iwakuni to see an old and unique bridge, Kantai-kyo, considered to be like the arcs of a series of stones skipping across water. Then back to Hiroshima, the usual challenge of getting Erica some vegetarian food, and an earlyish night. And I have bought my flight back to Korea forward to match my new Rail Pass, and am now leaving Japan on the 29th!



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