On our last day in Hiroshima, we decided to visit Miyajima. Such was an island right off the Hiroshima bay. The name translates to the “shrine island” and it is because the main attraction in the island is the Itsukushima Shrine, which is built over water. This shrine, especially the Torii gate, is very famous and often displayed in travel brochures for tourists to visit.
We had to take a short ferry for about fifteen minutes to arrive. However, even before arriving we could already see the famous Torii gate. By that time, it was low tide, so the water had subsided and didn’t cover the gate. Nonetheless, by the time we left, it rose again in high tide and we were able to see the floating Torii gate. Being able to see such iconic symbol of Japan was fascinating and made an unforgettable impression on me.
Furthermore, Japanese have this practice of buying a shrine book and getting the stamp, or sign, of each shrine and temple they visit. I was so fond of such shrine that I decided to buy the sign book in this island. In addition, the book serves as memorabilia of, not only the shrine in itself, but all the other ones one visits.
While we were walking around we saw wild deers running around. I had only seen them in Nara so it took me by surprise. The deer got the attention of foreigners and everyone was taking pictures with them. I was able to take a straight photo with a deer until it got distracted by other tourists trying to feed them.
In addition, a type of food that I enjoyed from this island was the Momiji Manju snack. This was a baked dough snack that took the shape of a maple leaf and had different fillings inside. The traditional Japanese filling is Anko, a type of red bean paste, but they also had others such custard or cheese filling.
Lastly, we spend the rest of the time seeing the island, the other worshipping areas, and the splendid scenery the top of the trail offered. We took the ferry back and met another friend and his family in order to eat dinner and return back to Kyoto.