Xcape #5 - Welcome to Miyajima Island, Hiroshima 🌴 | A visit to the Great Torii Gate ⛩ | 🦌 Making friends with Deer |

in #travel4 years ago

Hi Steemits,

Carl from FML here with another episode of Xcape. In today’s blog we’ll explore the historic city of Hiroshima. As you may know on the 9th August 1945, Hiroshima was unfortunately the first city in history to experience the destructive power of a nuclear weapon, which levelled the city and sadly took the lives of over 100,000 civilians.

On a more positive note the city has since been rebuilt and is now perhaps more prosperous than ever. For this part of the trip I decided to activate my 7-day JR rail pass which we used to travel from Kyoto to Hiroshima, Hakuba and back to Tokyo. The rail pass provides unlimited travel on all JR lines including most shinkanshans (bullet trains).

I’d recommend the rail pass to any tourist who wants to travel outside the main cities of Osaka and Tokyo as the pass pays for itself if you do a lot of travelling within a short amount of time.

Catching the bullet train from Kyoto Station to Hiroshima will take you about 3 hours. I was very surprised at how much the city had been rebuilt and just how developed the city was considering its tragic past.

When planning our trip to Hiroshima we had initially planned to stay within the city, however one of my friends suggested we stay on Miyajima island. Miyajima Island is about 21km Southwest of Hiroshima, which initially made me reluctant to stay on the island. Granted you can expect the living expenses to be generally higher, but I believe staying on the island is 100% worth it even if it's just for the one night.

To get to Miyajima island you will need to catch the train to Miyajimaguchi Station. From there you can catch a ferry at the local ferry port terminal which will take you over to Miyajima (180 Yen or free using the JR pass). Ferry services typically run every 15 minutes and the ferry ride is typically about 10 minutes. The photo below summaries the ferry times to Miyajima.

The ferry ride was very enjoyable, and you’ll pass some of Hiroshima’s famous oyster farms which are situated in the bay. You’ll also pass by the famous Great Torii Gate, which most tourist come to visit when they visit Hiroshima. We’ll explore this attraction further in this blog.

Hotel Sauraya

One of the cheapest hotel I found on the island was the hotel Sauraya, which was approximately $50 AUD / night / person. The hotel is conveniently located between the Great Torii Gate and the ferry terminal on the Island.

The hotel itself is an excellent place to stay and the staff were very kind and attentive. The rooms are traditional style with futon mattresses however I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable they were to sleep on. Check out a few of my photos from the hotel below.

The view from our hotel room. You can see the see the ferries to the mainland in the background

The hotel reception area is clean and comes with vending machines for when you’re feeling thirsty

The Great Torii Gate

After checking in our luggage, we decided to make use of what was left of the afternoon and headed out to check out the Great Torii Gate.

As soon as we walked out of the hotel lobby we were confronted by several cute and fluffy locals (deer) on the Island. They roam about all over the island but most of them hang out by the ferry terminal. Check out some of my photos below of these cute critters.

The evening was spectacular and the sun setting over the bay basked the island is a warm yellow glow which you can see in my photos below.

I could have looked at this sunset for hours if I didn’t have to check out the Great Torii Gates. As we proceed to the Great Torii Gates we passed some very beautiful beach fronts and pathways along the island.

Luckily for us it was low tide during the evening which meant we got to explore the Torii Gate up close. At high tide the gate looks like it’s floating on the water. The Great Torii Gate is part of Itsukushima Shrine which is located behind the Torri Gate. We’ll explore Itsukushima in the next blog. The gate itself was built in 1875 and is constructed out of camphor tree which is resistant to rotting and insect invasion. The site is also declared a UNESCO world heritage site like many things in Japan.

We also noticed that there were hundreds of small coins which people had left behind as some kind of offering I imagine. You’ll also find this at other attractions on the island like the shrines on top of Mt Misen.

Just before sunset you can also capture some really nice photos of the Shrine and the Torii Gate lit up.

Night time on the Island

At night most of the local shops shut down with only a few restaurants on the island open. I knew there would be a mark up on getting food on the island but I found some of the prices a little extortionate (upwards of 2500 Yen for a simple meal).

We decided to head to the main land which also gave us an opportunity to withdraw funds from the local 7-11. I found the price on the mainland to be a lot more reasonable, so I'd advise you to stock up on supplies before heading over to the Island.

The meal set above cost us 1300 Yen at a local restaurant. We also decided it would be a good idea to get some dessert from 7-11 before catching the ferry back to the island.

Despite all this hassle I still believe staying at Miyajima Island is well worth your time. In my next blog we’ll explore Itsukushima Shrine and take a trip up to Mt Misen which has a spectacular lookout which you must see if you visit Miyajima Island.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this travel blog. If you want to hear more about my adventures, please upvote this post and share with friends. Additionally, please follow me to hear more about my latest adventures. ✌️

About the Author

If you'd like to learn more about me or my blog series check out my introduction post

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💬 A special thank you to my new and existing followers. Thanks for supporting my blog series. I'd definitely love to get to know more of you so feel free to get in contact if you enjoy my post.


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If you have some time, maybe you can read my introduction post and tell me what you think.

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Hi @photofeedback. Thanks for reading my blog, up voting my post and following me I really appreciate your support. Yeah no worries I'll take a look and get back to you.

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