Japan Day 17 – Miyajima

Sunday 22 Janaury 2023

It’s the penultimate day of of our very expensive JR passes. There are two things you can do in Hiroshima on a JR pass; take the tourist loop bus and take a ferry to the island of Miyajima. So that’s our day planned.

Ferry to Miyajima

You can get a ferry direct to Miyajima from Hiroshima Peace Park for Y4000. We have to take a more circuitous route with a bus to the station and a train to the port to reach our JR ferry.

We start by getting on the wrong bus and board the Loop Bus instead of the Tourist Loop Bus, but it gets us to the station and the driver even accepts our JR passes, which is an unexpected bonus. Then we catch the train to Miyajimaguchi. From here, it’s a 10 minute walk to the ferry terminal and a 10 minute ferry ride to the island of Miyajima, renowned for its floating torii gate which is one of the most photographed attractions in Japan.

Ferry ride to Miyajima

Miyajima Island

This small island is home to Itskushima Shrine. Inland is Mount Misen, which can be reached by ropeway or by various trails.

Miyajima

As we haven’t has breakfast, we buy some sandwiches and think sitting on a bench by the seaside to eat them will be pleasant. A dear also likes the look of our sandwiches…

Breakfast competition

It’s around a 10 minute walk from the ferry terminal either along the seafront or along one of a couple of shopping streets. We’re not sure exactly where we’re going as the deer ate our map (again)!

Walk to Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine and its torii gate are unique for being built over water. The shrine complex consists of multiple buildings which are connected by boardwalks on stilts with the torii around 200 metres out to sea.

Itsukushima Shrine

Entrance to the shrine complex, which also offers the best views of the torii, costs Y300.

Warding off evil at Itsukushima Shrine

Otorii

At 16 metres tall and with a pillar circumference of 10 metres. this is one of the biggest torii gates in Japan. At high tide, it appears to float on the water.

Otorii

Ometesando Shopping Street

We walk back to the ferry via Ometesando Shopping Street. The street is a hive of activity, interspersed with souvenir shops and food outlets. Oysters and eels are popular, plus waffles shaped like maple leaves which you can observe being made in machines along the street.

Waffle making on Miyajima

Lunch at Okonomimura

Back in Hiroshima, we are keen to try the local speciality, okonomiyaki; pancakes layered with noodles and a variety of other ingredients. At Okonomimura there are multiple stalls selling this local dish.

Welcome to Okonomimura

Customers sit on stools surrounding a griddle where the chef prepares your meal. When it’s ready, she pushes it towards you and you hack off slices, leaving the rest gently sizzling away.

Stages of Okonomiyaki making

It’s a fun experience. The cons; if you don’t eat really quickly your food burns, it’s really hot eating next to a griddle plus it’s not the ideal meal to attempt to eat with two sticks.

Okonomiyaki

Atomic Bomb Dome

Yesterday we ran out of time and weren’t able to cross the river to see the Atomic Bomb Dome close up. So we walk off our very carb heavy lunch with a walk to the Dome. Basically it’s just a derelict building, but it is also a symbol of hope.

Atomic Bomb Dome

Dormy Inn Public Baths

In the evening, while the old man crushes candy, I do some laundry. The washing machine is in the changing room for the public baths so while I’m waiting, I figure I might as well whip my kit off and have a soak. The Dormy Inn is growing on me. The baths include a big sit-down bath plus two smaller lie-down baths which are so relaxing. In addition there’s a jet steam sauna where steam is sprayed through holes in the ceiling. As the Japanese like to bathe with their bits on display, obviously photography is prohibited, so here’s a photo from the hotel website.

Dormy Inn Public Baths

Public Baths toilet report; one of my favourites so far – you wash your hands in a tap which comes out of the top of the cistern which even has its own little water feature.

Water feature toilet-sink

Author: Jane's Midlife Journey

Stopped work, started travelling. Sometimes I run - combining the two with some parkrun tourism.

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