Sunday, October 23, 2005

Day Three: Miyajima

On Sunday afternoon, we hopped on the ferry, with car, to Miyajima. Miyajima is a very touristy island a 10-minute ferry ride from Hiroshima. The reason for its popularity is that it has been dubbed "one of the three most beautiful sites of Japan." There is a bright orangey-red shrine on the shore of the island and the view of this shrine, with its accompanying tori (gate) in the water is what is considered to be the focus of this "beautiful site." We got a kick out of our ferry ride. Many foreigners have been to Miyajima, but we doubt many have gone by car! The island is small, and all sites are within walking distance. We simply needed to bring the car over for the free parking and our camping supplies.

This is the view of Miyajima from the ferry, with tori in site.

Once we got on the island, we headed straight for its one campsite. Few tourists stay overnight on the island, and accomodations are of the very expensive, traditional Japanese inn variety. But we SUPER lucked out. Yes, we Epps were crazy enough to lug back our tent with us from Canada this summer, and we finally got to benefit from it: sleeping arrangements for two for only 600 yen! Yup, roughly 6 bucks. That's amazing compared to the usual cost of 6000 yen and UP for the two of us. One thing this country is NOT is CHEAP.

The campground was nearly empty, the toilets were Western-style and clean, and the deer were friendly. Here's Jeff posing with the tent.

After sunset, we grabbed some dinner and spent the evening taking in the sites. It was incredible, and I found myself getting very sentimental about Japan. The entire area around the shrine and coast was lit by stone lanterns. Jeff and I slowly walked the town, me sitting on benches and inhaling the sea air while he set up the camera for night shots.

Tourists staying at the inns were out taking their evening strolls in their yukatas and wooden clogs, deer were snacking, and the island was strangely peaceful, lacking the motorized vehicles you usually can't avoid throughout the rest of Japan. It was a good night.

More to come soon...


Anonymous said...

i live in kyoto. been here for 10 years off and on. like reading your blog as it reminds me of things I used to feel, do.

James said...

60 bucks a night is not expensive....

epps_nihon_go said...

60 bucks a night is not expensive if you're talking about a hotel/motel room. the only thing 60 bucks a night will get you in this country is two futons in a room with 10 other people in a sleezy youth hostel. or if you're lucky, it will get you two capsules in a capsule hotel - but good luck trying to find one that allows women!
Most hotels will charge you 60 bucks a night and up - PER PERSON! Traditional Japanese Inns are my favourite - the last one we stayed at was a measly $120 US a night - per person...That's where LOVE HOTELS come in. (see the previous entries for more stories).