deer, hiking, sky ride and more
Miyajima Travel Blog› entry 16 of 20 › view all entries
When we arrived, the ferry was just leaving, so we bought tickets for the next ferry in 15 minutes. We wandered around the little gift shop and had a quick snack before heading over. We hopped on the ferry and found seats inside, then moved outside to the railing so we could see the island and the famous Floating Torii Gate.
As we walked out of the ferry station, the first thing we noticed was the deer everywhere. Actually, I noticed a pretty rock outcrop with trees before I saw the deer. As we walked, we came upon deer everywhere. Most were looking for handouts. We kept walking along the coast to the Torii Gate. At low tide, you can walk out to the gate, but we were somewhere in the middle. I didn’t know if it was coming or going, but you could walk partway out there.
We passed the Itsukushima Shrine and continued past touristy shops until we found a little ticket counter for the Ropeway. We bought tickets and got in line for the bus up the hill. I really didn’t know what this was. We waited about 15 minutes for the bus and then we got 4 of the last 6 seats on the bus.
The line for the ropeway moved quickly and soon our little group of 4 was ushered into a small car and away we went. It was about a 15 minute ride up the hill towards Mt. Misan. From there we climbed some steps and got in a larger car, a funicular, that held about 15 people for a 4 minute ride up. At the top, they had free storage lockers that we took advantage of in the little visitor center. Once outside again, we walked up to the overlook at took some pictures of the bay and islands. This was supposed to be a monkey sanctuary, but we didn’t see any.
We decided to start the hike to the top of Mt. Misan and see how difficult it was.
The bus back down the hill wasn’t very full so I asked if I could sit in the front with the driver. I decided that this bus ride was almost as scary as those up Mt. Vesuvius and Machu Picchu. The road was narrow and windy. I decided to video tape the twisty road back. As we came barreling down the hill and around a corner, a van coming uphill suddenly appeared around a bend. We both slammed on our brakes. Whew! The van backed downhill to a small pullout to let us pass. Fun!
On the way back from the bus stop, we stopped in a few little stores. The deer seemed to know the island was shutting down for the night because they were headed up the hill.
The stores were closing up, it was 6 pm, so we headed back to the ferry. I was happy to see chu-hi there, so I bought one for the ride home. We were all pretty exhausted on the ride back. Linda told how it is Japanese custom to bring gifts back to your coworkers as a way of thanking them to allow you time away from work and for the inconvenience it caused.
Even though we had walked a ton today, we decided to walk a few blocks to a little restaurant and get some Hiroshima style okonomiyaki and kushi. It was a tiny place but the food was really good. Even though we were tired, we walked back and had some drinks while watching the lights of Hiroshima through the hotel window.