Floating temples and tiny deer
Miyajima Travel Blog› entry 9 of 14 › view all entries
December 18th, 2004 – by: bcbusdriver
To get to the island we took a local JR train out to a ferry dock. there were two different companies taking passengers across so it took us a few minutes to learn what ferry to get on but eventually we were on the top of a small car ferry watching Hiroshima fall behind us.
We spent most of our time just walking around. The markets were full of local goods and they sold some local sweets that Akiko seemed to love. Really the pace here on the island was nice and slow. The temple was also very nice but my memory of the place is very fuzzy.
After so much time of being in urban situations we decided to go find some nature. Miyajima has several trails that lead into the hills and the one we took started out paved and well marked. After about ten minutes in the trail left some park benches and picinic tables and started to wind around soem large boulders. A few more minutes and we were scrambling around large rocks wondering if we were still on the trail.
The view from the top was great, probably the best view we saw in Japan. The area is dotted with many little hilly green islands. We sat at the top of the mountain and enjoyed the fact that for the first time in Japan we could not see neon lights, vending machines, or even see another human in any direction. We could not enjoy the time to long though as we were so hungry as it took us three hours to get up the hill and we did not want to get stuck up there overnight.
Good news was we found as much easier trail down that was quicker. On the way down we ran into a small herd of small deer. These deer are the most timid deer I have ever met. The locals sell you grain that you can hand feed the deer. We did not buy any us we both had lived in Banff and had spent a fair amount of time trying to teach tourists not to feed wild animals as it is really dangerous to do so in Canada. Here however the deer come up to you basically beg for the food. A bit strange to see deer the size of very large dogs.
If you are in Japan and need a quick low tech break Miyajima is a good place. There are many traditional Japanese inns and the island's peace just grows on you. If you have a JR pass the ferry is even free to ride as it is owned my JR West.
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