Miyajima and Itsukushima

In between Sasebo and Iwakuni, we stopped at Miyajima for the afternoon.  We had several strokes of luck.  First, there were two ferries to choose from and we bought the tickets for the JR ferry.  This was awesome because the JR ferry has the sea lane that actually makes a wide swing right in front of the floating tori.  It was an awesome vantage point!  Also, it was high-tide so the tori looked particularly magnificent.  Last time I was there, it was low tide and the pilings were visible, which was a little less cool looking. 

The shrine was established in the time of Empress Suiko.  It is one of the famous “Three views of Japan (日本三景 Nihon Sankei).”  These were set forth by Hayashi Gaho in 1643 and include the pine-clad islands of Matushima in Miyagi Prefecture; the pine-clad sandbar of Amanohashidate in Kyoto Prefecture; and Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima Prefecture. 
Disgustingly, the deer is drinking from the water fountain.  Just like this sign, I bet it would try and eat my
face if I got close enough!

There were also deer on the island.  I called them “rats with long legs.”  As my Dad says, he and Mom really raised a bunch of animal lovers.  The corpsman thought they were super-cute and took lots of pictures.

There was also a Shinto ceremony happening.  It seemed solemn and may have been a funeral. The women were wearing some beautiful kimonos and some elaborate headpieces.  But right outside the recessed area of the shrine were swarms of people watching and/or taking pictures.  As cool as it would have been to take a picture, something just didn’t seem right so I refrained.  I did continue my taking pictures of me behind the photo-op boards with face-holes cut out.  I think they’re so funny!

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