Visited April 2011
Day 2: Hiroshima & Miyajima
The next morning, we made our way down to Hiroshima via Shinkansen. The journey took us about 1.5 hours, as I napped along the way. Upon arriving at our stop, we first visited the Peace Park and the A-Bomb Dome, which accessible via tram line 2 or 6 to Genbaku-Domu mae station. If you are unsure, there is an information tourist centre available at the train station. Also, when everyone alights from the tram, that usually means that’s your stop.Our next stop was Hiroshima Castle, the partner’s favourite, as this trip was also to be a mini-castle hunting trip. I felt amused that the castle was brown in colour, different from the one in Osaka that I was accustomed to.
Hopping on to the JR Sanyo Line, we travelled to Miyajimagushi Station for the ferry trip to Miyajima. It is easy to spot the ferry terminal from the station, as it is just right in front. The ferry ticket is free for those who have the JR pass.
Upon arriving at Miyajima, we were greeted with lots of tourists (as expected), and shika (deer)!
The shika are thought of as sacred in the native Shinto religion because they are considered messengers of the gods. And being exposed to so many people, they are not afraid of humans, and some are bold enough to seek food from us.
Tip: Do keep your passports away from sight, as the deer might eat them! One of my travelling companions had a map kept in his bag, but the deer came close to him and ate it up, despite us trying to pull the map away from it. I never knew deer liked paper, as we lost the tug-o-war to it.
When we arrived, the tide was low, so many of the people went onto the sea bed to get a picture of the torii gate. As we wanted a picture of the gate at high tide, we decided to visit Mount Misen first.But before heading to Mount Misen, we came across 2 geishas, which resulted in many people trying hard to get a shot. For some unknown reason, I happened to be physically close to one of them, and tried to converse with her in my limited Japanese. Surprisingly, she was very friendly, and gladly accommodated us with a photo shoot just for me and my companions, albeit it being just a quick one two shot, and them asking their ‘manager’ along in the photo.Ha I guess it really helps being able to speak some Japanese =)
Onward to Mount Misen, it is accessible via a ropeway, and costs ¥1,800 for a round trip. Offering a panoramic view of the islands dotting the Seto Inland Sea, there are three hiking trails leading up to the summit. However because the hike takes 1.5 to 2 hours, we did not give it a go. Instead, we headed to Shishiiwa Observatory, located next to the terminal of the ropeway for a view. And guess what, the view was still hazy like the first day.Perhaps that was one of the reasons why we did not trek to the summit, because the weather wasn’t being all too friendly.
After some time up on Mount Misen, we hazard a guess that the tide would have started coming in, plus it was getting dark. Hence, we made our way down, and were greeted with a torii gate floating on water, one of Japan’s Top Three Most Scenic Places.
We probably spent a long time there taking pictures, for when we ended, the sky was already dark. Heading back to the mainland, we had MacDonald’s at the train station for dinner, with the highly raved pork burger as our choice meal. Nothing beats having a delicious meal to sooth your hunger pangs to end the day.