Japan Day 9: Miyajima 宮島, More deer and a Street festival.
We grabbed a quick vending machine coffee and set off to the train station, heading to Miyajima Island for the day! The island is actually called Itsukushima, but is more commonly know as Miyajima or “shrine island”. We took the train on the Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station which took about half an hour. From there we caught the ferry to Miyajima. Both the train and the ferry are covered if you have a JR pass. From the train station to the ferry stop, the route is very straight forward, and there is plenty of signage.
The first place we visited was Istukushima shrine, and there was a wedding procession going on. It was very interesting to see the wedding attire. We then walked around the harbour area and saw the giant Floating Torii gate and some very well behaved deer. Compared to the deer of Nara, the deer of Miyajima were completely chilled out and kept almost completely to themselves. We then walked part way up the mountain, towards the gondola lift. I read that there are monkeys that live at the top of the hill, but we did not make it to the top of the mountain before we decided to head back to Hiroshima.
From Miyajima we headed to Hiroshima Castle. The castle was gorgeous from the outside, the inside had been converted into a museum. You can climb up to the top, from where you have a pretty incredible view of Hiroshima. We arrived just as the sun was setting, and the setting sun over the castle was magical.
We decided that it was completely alright to head back to Okonomi-mura for another round of tasty okonomiyaki. This time we opted for the second booth we saw, again….. it did not disappoint!
On the walk back to our hostel, we stopped at an arcade to try our hand at a few different games. We also stopped at a Kombini or corner variety store to stock up on snacks to eat in our hostel room. As soon as we had bought more snacks than we could possibly eat, we stumbled upon a street festival, complete with many food stalls and snacks. Jives was thrilled to have stumbled upon a festival that was just like the ones depicted in anime! There were fishing games and food stalls and even a drum session going on.