Going to a wedding

Miyajima Travel Blog

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First climpse of the floating torii

I feel like everything has changed after I got to Hiroshima - suddenly there are tourist everywhere. After spending a few weeks in Japan without more than a few handfuls of Europeans suddenly there are lots and lots of Europeans all over the place. And I am heading out of the city itself this morning heading for one of the most famous places in all of Japan.

 

I get on the morning train to get to the ferry for a small island a bit outside of Hiroshima - Miyajima - it is only a short ferry ride away from the mainland.

The floating torii
As all the tourist travel with the ferry we soon get to see one of the most famous sights in all of the country - the Floating Torii. I am not the only one standing at the side of the boat taking lots of photo of the torii as we sail towards the harbor. Actually the torii is not the only sight en route to the island the five story pagoda is also clearly visible - ok it would have been clearly visible if it wasn’t for the fact the day was anything but clear.

 

I get of the ferry and try to get orientated - the first thing I see is deer's everywhere. I learnt my lesson back in Nara about these innocent looking animals - they are probably eating anything in your pockets they can get access to - hence I look out for these.  I leave the harbor - taking care not being attack by a mad deer - and head down to look at the floating torii from the shores of Miyajima.

 

I get down and see the torii looking back at the mainland in the distance. Next to the torii is the big shrine complex - Itsukushima-jinja which is one of the holiest places in all of Japan.

The floating torii
The floating torii is actually the entrance to the temple. Originally common people were not allowed to set foot on the island hence they could only visit the shrine if they sailed in and going by the torii. The Itsukushima is actually not build on land but is build just off the shore and when visiting the shrine you walk across lots of wood sidewalks crossing water.

 

I get in and look at the temple and the torii from the temple where the view is actually pretty neat. The temple is full of all the classic details with small lamps hanging around the buildings and the usual drums inside the shrine. I go up and look into the main shrine - and in there is some excitement going on - a wedding. Hence a young couple is getting married while hundreds of strange Japanese and European tourist is looking in and taking loads of photos. And I am not really keeping back either.

 

The wedding is very different from any European wedding - it is a lot more formal with ceremonies of different sorts. Unlike the kind of weddings I know from home there are only 6 guests here at this wedding - 3 on the grooms side and 3 on the brides side.

The floating torii
I guess it is the parents of the couple getting married and they are both accompanied by a younger man whom I guess is the brothers of the couple.

 

A lead priest is performing the main part of the ceremony. But there are a lot of other people helping out with the wedding. On the left is three men playing flutes of different sort and two young women are walking back and forth with different items and punching the big drum from time to time. The women repeatedly serve something to drink for the couple - I guess it is sake - and they also at one stage bring in the rings for the couple. Finally there is something which reminds me of a European wedding.

 

After the couple has exchanged the rings they walk back and now they both take a seat at the grooms side of the hall. More sake is served and the two families make a formal toast. After this the ceremony is over and the women take away the different formal items used during the ceremony and by now the couple is moving into a adjourning room - by now it is no longer possible to follow what is going on and I get ready to go on.

The floating torii

 

Then I suddenly see a sign - no photos allowed of this central hall - ups. I had not seen the sign before - honest.  And I wasn’t the only one who had not seen the sign if I should consider the number of people taking photos. Now what to do? Should I delete the photos - considering I probably taken almost a hundred photos deleting them one by one don’t really seems like an option. Hence I keep the photos ignoring the prohibition on photos. And I think the couple should sort of expect this - I mean if you decide to get married at one of the main tourist attraction of the country you must expect strange spectators.

 

By now I have seen what I would like to see of the temple so I move along the last of the sidewalks heading back to land. I start walking around the main island. Even though this temple on the water is the main attraction of Miyajima there are still lots to see around the island. There are many different temples scattered around the island.

 

I walk along the different shrines and then I head up the road to a small park a bit up in the hills above the city.

Pagoda on land
I actually wanted to go up on top of the mountain - but considering the lack of visibility today I can’t really motivate myself to walk up to the top of a mountain from where you probably can’t see anything. Instead I keep wondering around the city for a while and look at the old shrines.

 

Then it is time to head back to Hiroshima. I take the train to the central station and as I walk through the station I see a Danish specialty shop. Obviously such a shop must be named Andersen after the old Danish writer. It claims it is doing Danish specialties but I don’t really think it has much to do with a traditional Danish bakery shop. Anyway I am not really missing my hometown favorites that much so I walk past the shop.
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First climpse of the floating torii
First climpse of the floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
The floating torii
Pagoda on land
Pagoda on land
Pagoda on land
Pagoda on land
The harbor on Miyajima
The harbor on Miyajima
The floating torii
The floating torii
Pagoda on land
Pagoda on land
The deers
The deer's
The deers
The deer's
The deers
The deer's
The deers
The deer's
The deers
The deer's
The floating torii from land
The floating torii from land
Giant lamp
Giant lamp
The shrine complex
The shrine complex
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Lamp at Itsukushima-jinja
Lamp at Itsukushima-jinja
Lamp at Itsukushima-jinja
Lamp at Itsukushima-jinja
Pagoda from Itsukushima-jinja
Pagoda from Itsukushima-jinja
Torii from Itsukushima-jinja
Torii from Itsukushima-jinja
Lion at Itsukushima-jinja
Lion at Itsukushima-jinja
Floating torii from Itsukushima-ji…
Floating torii from Itsukushima-j…
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
Top of pagoda
Top of pagoda
Lion at Itsukushima-jinja
Lion at Itsukushima-jinja
Lamp at Itsukushima-jinja
Lamp at Itsukushima-jinja
The bride side of the wedding
The bride side of the wedding
Young women at the wedding
Young women at the wedding
The music at the wedding
The music at the wedding
The bride
The bride
The priest
The priest
The bride
The bride
The musicians
The musicians
The female servants at the wedding
The female servants at the wedding
The female servants at the wedding
The female servants at the wedding
The bride
The bride
The groome
The groome
The groome
The groome
The bride
The bride
Close up of the bride
Close up of the bride
The servants heading towards the g…
The servants heading towards the …
Serving sake
Serving sake
Drinking - sake I guess
Drinking - sake I guess
Serving the bride
Serving the bride
Drinking sake
Drinking sake
The couple
The couple
One of the musicians
One of the musicians
The couple
The couple
The drum
The drum
The rings exchanged
The rings exchanged
The rings exchanged
The rings exchanged
The rings exchanged
The rings exchanged
Andersen - Danish speciality shop …
Andersen - Danish speciality shop…
Miyajima
photo by: liekevo