Miyajima Island, near Hiroshima, is considered sacred. The O-Torii, a huge gate in the ocean near the island, bears witness to this. I visited on June 29th, and hiked up to the top of Misen Mountain, 529.8 meters above sea level. Unfortunately the top was in a cloud, but it was a good hike. Here’s the Torii at high tide:
There’s so much to see on Miyajima (weather notwithstanding) that I don’t even know where to start. I’m just gonna throw cool stuff out there, and you’re gonna want to visit.
Tame deer roam freely around the island. You can pet them, they’ll pose for you, and they will try to eat food or papers out of your backpack.
Miyajima claims to have invented the rice scoop. To back that up, they have the world’s largest wooden rice scoop on display in the shopping street: 7.7m long and 2.5 tons. Of course you can buy rice scoops of all sizes (well, except this one) in nearly every store in town.
“Look Ma, here I am in front of the Torii!”
The strangest thing I saw all day, by far, was Doctor Fish. For 500 yen (about $6) you can have some fish clean your feet, eating away the dead skin. Sounds a bit gross, but it feels really nice, like a foot massage.
THEN there are the temples and pagodas… the list of cool sights just doesn’t end.
“Hey, there’s something on your butt. Let me just see if it’s flowers.”
I finished off the day with an amazing meal out with a Japanese friend, Nina. She is also a world-renowned okonomiyaki cook. But the story of the restaurant where we went will have to wait for another time, because it was nine courses of Japanese deliciousness!
Tomorrow: I visit another castle, the best-preserved one in Japan, on my way back to Tokyo.