Saturday, 11th November 2017 (Part 2)
We'd visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorials in the morning, and for the afternoon we wanted to visit the island of Miyajima in Hiroshima bay.
To get there from the Peace Memorials, we took a river boat. The boat ride was very pleasant; smooth while traversing the river and just a tad bumpier when out in the ocean. There was a video screen and commentary in both Japanese and English telling us of the different sights we could see out of the window.
We passed the boat's twin heading back the other way.
Miyajima is an island off the coast of Hiroshima; known for it's great torii gate that is surrounded by the ocean during high tide and on dry land during low tide. and Itsukushima Shrine.
The boat docked, and we headed onto the island.
As was Nara, Miyajima is a very popular tourist destination.
It also has its own resident population of friendly deer; though unlike Nara, the deer aren't in a park, but roaming around the island streets and the shore. There were a lot of signs warning against feeding them or trying to touch them.
Itsukushima Shrine & the Great Torii Gate
The main draw for Miyajima is Itsukushima Shrine, an UNESCO World Heritage site.
The torii gate is an exceptionally popular sight for photographers, the promenade was full of people setting up tripods and jostling for the perfect angle.
Plenty of photographers made it easy to find someone to take our photo too:
Mt. Misen Ropeway
After we'd walked through the shrine, we continued further through the streets and made our way to the foot of Mt. Misen.
We wanted to go to the top of the mountain; and for that we would take the ropeway.
Between the town and the ropeway cable-car station were some lovely gardens in the grounds of a particularly fancy ryokan.
Now in Ben's rush to catch one of the last few cable-cars to the top of the mountain, Ben hadn't realised that the last car down from the mountain wouldn't be too long after. When we got to the cable-car station we found that it was packed with scores of people queuing to go back down!
We barely had time to admire the view before we joined the queue ourselves.
By the time we got to the bottom again, the sun had set. We walked back through the gardens we'd seen on the way up. At night they were illuminated with subtle mood lighting that mostly came out terribly on camera.
Back at the bottom of the mountain, we carried on along the streets towards the ferry terminal. All the shops and restaurants were shut now as everything seems to shut earlier on the island.
At nights, the torii gate is illuminated by floodlights from the shore. It practically glows against the black of the bay.
Boarding the ferry that would take us back across the bay to Hiroshima.
Walking back to our hotel, we passed this very long queue outside one of the shops. It had been out the door and around the corner when we walked past it in the morning, and it was still there now late at night. We decided we had to stop and investigate whatever they were selling that was so popular!
The shop was dedicated to a single item. Tray upon tray of identical, golden cheese tarts.
We bought a little bag of four, and ate them almost immediately. They were hot and fresh out of the oven, and absolutely delicious.