Sunday, February 22, 2009
Miyajima with Mama Callie
On Valentine's Day my mom and I took a ferry boat over to Miyajima Island where the famous floating otorii gate is. We were lucky cause there was a sporadic heat wave that hit Hiroshima so the weather was gorgeous!!!!!! Another bonus was that we happened to go during the annual OYSTER FESTIVAL!!!!! (kaki matsuri!!!!) whoo hoooooo...
On the ferry ride over we saw fishermen sorting their thousands of oysters... and when we arrived at the Miyajima port the oyster festival was already in full swing!
There were lines and lines and lines of people waiting to grill up and chow down on their oysters.
We were also lucky to catch a crazy dragon dance contortionist performance...
After smelling enough of the oysters and watching the dragon show we meandered into Miyajima town... The first thing you notice are the dozens and dozens of deer wandering the streets!!! They especially were fond of my mom and ate up her map. Other than that they were sooo friendly.
After our photo shoot with the deers we went to see the floating Otorii gate during high tide.
Then we went to Itsukushima Shrine... which was built 1,400 years ago. It was built over water so it felt like we were still on a boat. We struck it lucky once again because we saw a traditional Japanese wedding procession.
When the wedding group spotted me on the shrine they yelled for me to come over and pose for photos with the fancy newleyweds. hahahaha... I looked a bit out of place in my grubby shirt and jeans.
We then took the ropeway up to Mt. Misen for views across the islands and Seto Inland Sea... I also did a circuit hike which went around the mountain to tiny little temples dotted along the cliffsides.
Down at the bottom there were heaps of deer - but up on Mt. Misen monkeys were EVERYWHERE!!!! Signs warned us of the cheeky monkeys who love stealing purses, cameras and moneys. They even provided us free lockers were we could lock away our valuables before hiking around the mountain.
Back at the bottom we explored Miyajima a bit more... and saw the 5 storied Pagoda and Senjokaku (hall of 1,000 mats)
The town itself was so pretty and different to Sapporo!!!! So many traditional houses, canals, little alleyways.... and even monkeys who stood on their heads for money. hahaha...
The boys in Hiroshima and Miyajima were soooo friendly!!!
More boys talked to me in 4 days than my entire 6 months in Sapporo! I even had a date lined up back in Hiroshima for Valentine's day!!!
I'm gonna miss this place ;-(
By the time we were ready to head back home it was low tide so we were able to wander all the way out to otorii gate.
Before heading back to Hiroshima we stopped for a meal of Miyajima's famed dish: anago meshi - grilled eel. It was DEEEEELISH!!!!!!
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