Saturday, August 25, 2007

Japan 8: Hiroshima 3 @ Miyajima

宮島, Miyajima Island, in 広島県, Hiroshima Prefecture, about 10 minutes ferry ride from Miyajima Station. From Hiroshima Station, it takes about 20 minutes by a train to reach Miyajima Station.

As the ferry sails towards Miyajima, the famous torri gate appears. Probably one of the most powerful symbol, other than Mount Fuji, to represent Japan.

Deers considered to be sacred, roam freely on the island. They can be quite irritating to visitors, because they eat any paper products, which includes the yen bills. Their acute senses can detect food in bags and once detected, they hungrily chew their way through.

There are more than one good reason to visit this sacred island. Itsukushima shrine and Miyajima collectively have been named one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the present shrine dates back to the 13th century. The buildings has been harmoniously arranged to present great artistic and technical skills. In addition, the shrine provides a contrast in colour with the mountains and the sea. It illustrates the concept of Japanese beauty, which combines nature and human creativity harmoniously.

Miyajima is also hailed as the top 3 most scenic sites in Japan. The other two sites are situated in Kyoto and Miyagi Prefecture.

At low tide, the beach and the torri gate can be explored on foot. However, during high tides, which did not happen at this particular occasion, covers the gate partially and flood the foots of the Itsukushima shrine, providing a change scenery as the tide changes.

Many students wearing their school uniform can be seen. Apparently, it was their term break and many groups of them can be seen visiting many sites around Japan, including shrines, temples, and museums.

The entrance to the Itsukushima shrine costs 300円. The shrine looked like it had been gone through some renovations, however, the fresh red-orange paint made the shrine looked a little artificial.

The Itsukushima shrine during low tide.

There are other several places to visit on Miyajima. Besides the distracting shops selling gifts and food items that lure visitors to spend more money, there is also the maple leaf garden and a cable car ride to the island's mountain peak.

Even though, it was late spring, the forests and gardens represents an array of colours, in different shades of green, yellow and red. Gardens should not only beautiful and calming, but also have comfortable temperatures to walk around in, meaning not hot and humid.

The beautiful view of the island, the sea and the mainland of Hiroshima.

The calming effects of nature and human creations in harmony.

The coastline of Miyajima. Fishes can be seen jumping out of the water.

As the day draws near, the beautiful sun across the mountains and the sea sets. Miyajima, an island of true beauty.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! I think Singapore has something like this island too. It's called Kusu Island. You have to take a ferry too to get to Kusu Island. Just like Miyajima, it is a sacred island with shrines there too. The sacred animal on that island is i think the longevity tortise, unlike deers on Miyajima.

26/8/07 23:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! I wonder why the author has to travel all the way to that country.

27/8/07 22:22  

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