Dear readers,

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Linda L.

Fri Jan 12 2007 (Day 22) - Miyajima

Checked-out from Tour Club early in the morning and headed for Kyoto Station to board the shinkansen to Hiroshima and then catch a local train onto Miyajima


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The ride was going to be about 3 hours so we bought eki-ben for lunch on the train. It cost 1000yen each.
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Arrived in Hiroshima
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After figuring out & asking a station officer, we got onto the train to Miyajima station. The ride took about 15-20 mins. Then we followed the signs to the pier to board the JR ferry that will take us across to the island. It was a JR service so we could use our JR pass. Great! More savings.
Waiting for the ferry
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After getting off the ferry and exiting the pier, we were confronted with ..... deers. Lots of deers

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Bambi!

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About 3 or 4 came up to us, stole a packet of tissue that i had in the pockets of my jeans and started chewing on the tissue. I managed to grab the plastic wrapper of the tissue packet, which fell to the ground, so that the deers wouldn't swallow it.
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The deers have all been de-horned, most probably so that even if the deers do attack, injury will be minimal

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I have read that the deers roam around Miyajima but still, seeing it in person is quite different, as with most things.
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We found our accommodation for the night - Benten no Yado but it was still a bit early to check-in. The reception told us we could leave our bags with them and come back in the afternoon to check-in. Great..that was what we wanted - to unload. We then headed back into the town to find lunch. The town is pretty small, calm and not very lively except for the visitors. There wasn't much eateries and we went into one which was near the pier.
We got seated and ask for the menu - 'menu o onegai shimasu' and the lady-boss indicate to us to point from the display at the window. Alrighty.
I had katsu-don with the mashed egg on top
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Kee had the tonkatsu with rice
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The display window
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After filling our stomach, we headed for the main attraction - Itsukushima Shrine
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The famous floating torii in the distance
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Looking across to the mainland
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A deer on the way. Notice its droppings on the ground. DSC08190


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I find that these guardian lions are quite similar to the Chinese ones
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Foraging for food
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Looking behind towards the pier. The deer was following us.

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There is a small fee charged for entrance to the shrine

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Purifying before entry to the shrine
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The view of mountainous landscape behind the shrine is quite stunning
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Miyajima is one of the Nihon Sankei (Japan's 3 most scenic places)

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These 2 guys were posing for a creative shot by the 3rd guy
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sake barrels at the shrine

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An old tree bark

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I've never been this close to Bambi

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The streets in the town. Reminds me of the kampung houses back homeDSC08314

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Love the old-town charm
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Close-up of the old tree bark
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The pagoda next to SenjokakuIMG_4492
and the stairs leading up to it
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More deers
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Senjokaku below. There didn't seem to be anything much so we didn't enter and just looked from the outside

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View from the top. Our hotel is on the right

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On to the shopping street.
Crispy rice crackers
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We bought 4 of these - 2 small & 2 medium sizes
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Little ones


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Back at the ryokan hotel, waiting to check-in at the lobby. Our bags were already taken into our rooms. Almost all accommodation required a copy of guests' passport. Knew that from doing my 'homework'.
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The main entrance. The young man attending to us hardly understood English and we hardly speak Japanese so it was a case of 'sign language' and common sense when he was explaining check-in procedures and showing us our room. Service is an important factor to the Japanese. When he indicated to us where to store our shoes (no outside shoes allowed in the ryokan hotel, guests can either go barefoot or use the slippers provided), Kee went to out our shoes in there and the young man quickly rushed towards Kee, telling him that he'll store the shoes for us and that we don't have to do it ourselves. At the end of his explanation, i said wakarimashita and thanked him for his service.
Shoes were stored in the boxes on the right. We worked out that those with red doors indicated occupied.

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There wasn't much guests around, seemed like we were the only one. Hah..the whole place all to ourselves...nice. We found out later there were about 2 other couples also staying that night.
I sneaked into the men's onsen to capture these while Kee was on the lookout
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The washing area.

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The hot bath
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The drying and dressing area

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Baskets for guests
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The ladies onsen. I came here later that evening and it was kind of spooky being here all by yourself.
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Washing area on the left
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washing area on the right
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The outdoor garden and the bath with a view in the building opposite, up the stairs
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The massage and leisure area. We spent some time on the massage chair at night, after dinner.

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After some rest, we headed out again, for a walk. The lobby area below
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At the ryokan hotel entrance
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Looking back at the entrance to Benten no Yado
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The alley on the left, after the entrance
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The street straight from the entrance

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Further down
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The giant wooden rice spoon, which is an emblem of Miyajima.
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Back onto the shopping street
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I bought a piece of the rice crackers. The stall owner easily described the different flavours to me in english. This indicates the amount of foreign tourist in this town.
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The whole street is filled with souvenirs and snacks. Touristy
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Even Hello Kitty products
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Grilled jumbo oysters
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These looked like fishcakes
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We bought 3 kokeshi. 2 of them with the maple design, an emblem of Miyajima
Kawaii

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The alley leading to our ryokan hotel

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The alley on the right just outside Benten no Yado
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Back in our room for some rest before dinner. A welcome snack for us. The maple leaf is another emblem of Miyajima.
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The main entrance to our room.
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The bath/shower room

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The toilet. I like the Japanese toilet system. It has the built-in bidet and most has a seat warmer.
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View from our room. The local houses looks like a scene from an anime or manga.
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Dinner was served in the dining rooms a few floors below. We went down in our yukata
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The food was served consecutively, as with kaiseki meals
Ingredients for nabe

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The nabe

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Nabe ready to eat
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The tempura was served with a salt & wasabi powder dipping (bottom left), which tasted nice and a bit out-of the-norm.

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Gohan and clear soup

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After the sumptuous meal and 'gochisosama deshita' to the young lady who served our meals, we ventured out in the garden for a night view

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At the bath with a view of the torii gate in the distance.
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We then got changed and headed out to the shrine area to see the floating torii at night
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The tide was low
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It was very quiet and feels a little spooky. The only sound we could hear are some deers walking around and faint conversation from another group of people at the shrine.

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The shrine area stays lit till about 10 pm

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The shopping street, all shut. Many visitors come just for the day and return to the mainland. we decided to stay a night on the island to see the torii ate by night.

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The giant wooden rice spoon at night
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Back to the ryokan & our room
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This is the most relaxing, least rushed nights of our trip so far. Most of the time, especially in Tokyo, we came back to the hotel late, shower, review the next day's itinerary, unload photos from memory disks to Mac, do our budget and off to bed. At least here we still have time to watch some Japanese programmes on TV.

Next day...

10 comments:

Shane said...

hihi.. coincicently get to know you thru kennysia.com...
A really loooooong entry,,, nice photo... thx..

rational thinker said...

very cool post. :)

i managed to skim through 5 days. will be back for more. :)

Junkgirl said...

Hi Shane,
Thanks for browsing. Yeah long entries...lots to cover and lots of photos to display...

Hi rational thinker,
Thanks for skimming thru...hope u enjoyed the post and looking forward to your return...

ling239 said...

Hi Hi...
tks for dropping by at my blog ^_^
u must have had a wonderful holiday in Japan ~
love all the photos especially those on beautiful scenery and yummy food :)

Junkgirl said...

Hi ling239,
Greatly appreciate your comment and glad that you enjoyed the photos. I had an incredible time in Japan and looking forward to go again soon.

ai wei said...

thsi is cool!!! nice photos, great view....!

i love Japan!~

gonna save down this add and read them slowly. thanks for sharing ur wonderful trip & experience in Japan ya~

P.S- thanks for dropping by my blog.

lasilasi said...

wow great entry - i miss japan really much now =p

Junkgirl said...

Hi ai wei,
Thanks for the compliment and thanks for visiting.

Hi lasilasi,
Yeah, Japan is a fantastic place to visit. I've been back for about 8 months now and I'm missing it too.

ai wei said...

i have a question. how do you get to take pics in the bathing area???

Junkgirl said...

Good question ai wei. Well, there wasn't much guest at Benten no Yado that day. I sneaked into the bathing room with my camera while my partner was on the 'lookout' outside. There was no one in there so i snapped some shots. It was merely being there at the right time.