“Go to MIyajima. See the Torii. Eat. Sleep. Get on boat.”
– Japanese dude
Sometimes I forget what I know and what I have read. There’s so many countries to see in the world and so much in each of them, even if I’ve researched where I am going I miss stuff I knew was there. The Great Torii of Miyajima is one such thing I almost missed.
I was perfectly happy to breeze right by Miyajima/Itsukushima and head straight for Fukuoka after Hiroshima (that’s a ton of Japanese names in one sentence, jeez…), but after speaking to Nathanael and a few others I realized I needed to make a pitstop at Miyajima. Now, I could’ve gotten on the regular ferry from Hiroshima, it takes about ten minutes and was included in my Japan Rail Pass, but me being me that plan was thrown out the proverbial window when I saw a smaller, local boat choochoo-ing away from the Memorial Park riverside. I may have paid an extra $10 to get on it, but it was nice. A longer trip on the river, a little more sights and the departure point was a five minute walk form my hotel. Yeah, that’s a valid point for me, I’m a lazy person.
Miyajima was pretty good. I wasn’t overwhelmed by how awesome it was, but that might be because my expectations where wildly inflated by everyone telling me it was one of the “top three places to visit in Japan. Hands down!”
Don’t get me wrong, MIyajima was brilliant, very cosy little town – the Great Torii caught my eye so much I went back for low tide – then I went back after sunset to see it lit up. I enjoyed my time there and would recommend a visit, but don’t expect to be blown away – that kin of build up will just get you disappointed.
A super bonus of my stay in Miyajima was meeting Jami and Gaston 🙂 New friends to have dinner with. We went out for okonomiyaki (a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients) at this tiny place with room for 12 people (it’s a theme in Japan, I think), run by two lovely Japanese women. We were there at 20.22 – they stop taking orders at 20.30. We just made it, they took our order 😀
Also: I saw the world’s biggest rice scoop. It was grand. Worth the trip.