Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Miho and I took a day trip from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island for my 27th birthday on the 10th to see the floating Torii at Itsukushima Shrine. Most people have probably seen pictures of the Torii in airline and tourism adds for Japan, they have been designated a world heritage site and one of Japan’s top three views (the designation of three views is a very Japanese thing), for further info check out Wikitravel at

The island itself is very beautiful and fun to visit, at the time of our visit they were holding a big festival for oysters which are grown in the surrounding waters, they had huge crowds of people waiting in line to eat the oysters prepared many different ways.

As you can see in the photos below the Torii and the rest of the island are quite nice, you can see the full set of pics here:

Miho and I with the famous Torii:

The shrine is actually built on stilts over the water:

The pagoda shown below is very famous because it is square at the bottom and round at the top which is very rare:

For reasons that I can't explain Miyajima is famous for rice scooper's, meaning the tools you use to scoop rice out of rice cookers, they sell them all over the island, they have usable scooper's and also decorative scooper's like those shown below:

The island is also home to a large number of tame deer like in Nara, Japan:

Since there is no rabies in Japan you can pet and touch the deer, they generally cooperate:

One of the temples on the island has spinning prayer wheels on it's stairs, prayer wheels like that tend to be Tibetan rather than Japanese, I've never seen them in Japan before:

More prayer wheels at the same temple:

When the tide goes out the Torii is no longer under water, while we were up the hill the tide started going out:

Miyajima has ski resort style gondola's that take you to the very top of the island where you can see the inland sea, the surrounding islands and back to Hiroshima which is shown below:

Some of the oyster farms in the surrounding waters:

When we got back to the bottom of the hill the tide was completely out, as can be seen the Shrine was no longer in the water:

With the tide out visitors can walk on the tidal flats out to the Torii:

I'm not sure why but visitors have been piling rocks on the Torii as can be seen below:

A huge rice scooper, it's about 12 feet long:

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