Miyajima Island

We hadn’t really planned to spent all day out at Miyajima Island, but that’s how it turned out. We got up late and headed straight to the station to grab some breakfast and a coffee.

Settled on a Tully’s coffee as the one I’d intended on going to didn’t open till 1pm. Coffee at Tully’s is not fantastic but it’s consistently ok.

It’s a weekend so Miyajima was going to be popular and the train was pretty much standing room only, although we scored seats. On the train was a big bunch of school kids from somewhere in Australia. It’s about 30min on the train from the main Hiroshima station to the ferry terminal.

The Japanese do the public transport so well, as soon as the train arrived at the ferry terminal, there was a ferry waiting to take us to the island. The ferry only take 10 minutes. Of course since we had JR passes, the day out cost us ¥0 (apart from water we bought). JR passes are fantastic.

As soon as we arrived, almost everyone turns right to go to the temple. We thought we would take the cable car up the mountain first so turned left to take the scenic walk to the cable car terminal. For this walk we virtually had the island to ourselves except for the deer, and the mountains of poop they manage to leave everywhere. Watch your step!

I’ve coloured the path we took green :-

On the way to the cable car we found a great place to take some shots down to the temple and Torii gate

Some of our new hiking friends

We got to the cable car site, and just our luck, it was closed. Seems to be a theme with us in Japan. The cable car was closed in Hakone too.

There was another sign saying you could hike the 2.5km up instead, but warned to take plenty of water. We had some water (luckily I’d bought a litre down at the ferry terminal). So off we went. It was almost 2.5km of stairs straight up. It made the walk we did along the Nakasendo Trail look like a walk in the park.

It was hot and we passed people who didn’t carry water or were dressed in jeans etc. Some people are crazy. We had what I thought was enough water but should have taken more. At the top was a vending machine that was very popular and had run out of everything except cold coffee and green tea water. The green tea water wasn’t as bad as it looked.

Here is Dave on one of the 5 million fucking stairs :-

If the fucking stairs don’t kill you, the snakes will. Hey, at least it’s starting to feel like home with deadly snakes everywhere. Didn’t see any.

The view from the top made the climb worthwhile. Given the cable car wasn’t working it wasn’t crowded up here at all.

We took a different route down the mountain. Just as many stairs of course but not as much tree cover and some amazing water courses to control the massive storm water they get here

Once down the mountain, the tide had gone out so we walked out to the Tori gate. Unfortunately it’s started to undergo renovations so was partly covered with scaffolding

From here we headed back to the hotel. We had thought we would probably spend 2 hours max out here today, and we didn’t leave till after 4.

After a dip in the hotel Onsen it was time for dinner. We had Chinese tonight at the station then found a parfait place and had one of those.

I had a pork dish. Not spoiled with seaweed flakes tonight 🙂

Parfait. Seriously yum

The map image of our hike. I should have started recording at the ferry terminal but didn’t until the cable car starting point.