Day Twelve Part 2: Miyajima

After some more train travel, we were well on our way to the island of Miyajima where we would be staying at another Inn.  But first, we had to take a short ferry ride to get to the island itself.  The ride was a lot of fun, very scenic.  We got some good views of the mountains around us as well as a look at Itsukushima Shrine, which was built in 593 and later rebuilt in 1168.  But I’ll get back to that later.  First we had to get to the hotel!  This would be our third Inn stay and I was not looking forward to sleeping on the floor again.  Upon arrival at the ferry station, we were told to call the hotel so that they could pick us up.  Something seemed different about this Inn.  Soon a mini-bus pulled up the station and we were back on the road to our Inn, which was only a short distance away.

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View from the ferry of the dock before going to Miyajima island.

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Bus ride to our hotel!

 

This wasn’t an Inn, it was the greatest hotel ever!  It just had Inn-style rooms.  I could go into detail about the welcoming group of hotel workers or the magnificent view of the island from our hotel, but instead, I will summarize the greatness of this hotel with one idea: a wireless remote for the toilet.  That’s right.  It was time for some pampering.

After settling in and discussing dinner/breakfast options with a young lady dressed in a kimono who served us tea in our room, we said a temporary goodbye to the hotel to see Itsukushima Shrine.

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The best hotel we’ve stayed at yet.  Looks a lot like our other Inn rooms.

 

We left the comforts of the hotel and began our short trek down the hill to the shrine, which was just down the street.  On the way, we encountered some of the natives…

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The deer are here too!

 

That’s right, more deer!  Just like in Nara, the deer here don’t mind sharing the land with humans.  However, I’ve been told these deer aren’t as friendly as the ones in Nara so we decided not to play with them.  If you haven’t seen my post about Nara, or just love deer, go check it out :D.  We continued down the way until we got to our destination where we began our stroll through the shore side shrine.  The tide was low at the time leaving half of the shrine on the beach but it was still very beautiful.  I’m told it’s even greater to see it when the tide is up and the shrine seems to float upon the water.  The shrine is home to Otorii, the great gate.  So of course, we had to check it out.

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Otorii, the great gate of Miyajima.

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Tourist moment!  I couldn’t help it.

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More deer!  They’re taking over the island!

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I’ll never get sick of photographing them.

 

As you can see, along the way we encountered more deer.  They’re so much fun to photograph.  Anyway, we walked through the shrine and made our way back to hotel where we could once again enjoy the comforts of the public baths.  We had decided to stay in the hotel for the night and enjoy dinner there.  The menu was explained to us and was said to be only about the equivalent of $10 a person.  There must have been a misunderstanding or something because there is no way that meal cost that little.  We were supremely surprised when we were given two different meals consisting of oysters, another meal of sushi caught just that morning on the island, and other various dishes.  After eleven days of traveling from destination to destination, consistently working on the blog, and sightseeing, this was the best way to spend the second to last day in Japan.  We were also told there was a karaoke bar in the hotel.  It wasn’t the karaoke I was interested in though, it was the words that followed: “all you can drink,” and I intended to do so.  However, we were sadly disappointed to find that the bar was closed that night without any reason.  Oh well, I’ll have to find some other way to embarrass myself. If you find yourselves in Japan, add Miyajima to your list of travel destinations.  Tomorrow we head for Matsuyama. 

Matsuyama is our final stop on our trip to Japan. Here we will be visiting some familiar ground to Emily as it is located in the Ehime Prefecture, where she has been living for the past year. On the top of our list of things to see is Matusyama Castle. Originally built in 1603, the castle still stands today after much damage has been taken to the original structure. The citizens of Matsuyama are still working to rebuild the castle which can be seen from any place in Matsuyama. Matsuyama is also famous for the Dōgo Onsen, the oldest hot spring bath house in Japan. Hopefully we’ll get to check it out!

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