Miyajima - Japan Spring 2008


Thursday 20th March 2008

Daytime on Miyajima - went on the ropeway for the first time, up to the top of My. Misen. In the evening went out in Hiroshima, and made the now traditional visit to Sushi Tei for dinner.

Japan Spring 2008

John's Pictures
Maison de Stuff

13:20:56 The now standard "first glimpse of the Umi-no-tori" picture.13:21:20 ...and another one once we got a bit closer.13:21:35 Chie on the ferry.

13:21:42 Chie on the ferry again.13:22:08 Me on the ferry.13:22:22 Can just see the Umi-no-tori in this picture.

13:22:25 Me again.13:22:50 Another picture of the Umi-no-tori as seen from the sea.13:42:30 On the land now - the tide was out, and the seabed covered with a layer of very bright green seaweed. Quite weird looking.

13:43:07 So there now follows the usual flurry of pictures of the umi-no-tori.13:44:55 I don't think I ever get tired of taking pictures of it.13:45:08 ...and always like to mess around with the composition - it takes on a very different aspect from every angle.

13:45:53 ....it looks particularly imposing here I think.13:46:03 ...perhaps even more so here (I crouched down for this one).13:49:00 With one of the lanterns in the foreground.

13:49:16 One last one before heading inland.13:50:59 There's the Itsukushima shrine - we got married there!13:56:13 I decided to take a stroll to the Momijidani park.

14:14:39 ...of course it was a bit out of season for the Japanese willow - the park is at its best in autumn - but it was still very pleasant.14:16:13 A very well managed stream.14:16:27 I've been playing close attention to the state of buds on this trip so far - I'm really hoping we get some cherry blossom before we leave.

14:21:46 I decided to try the ropeway (we'd probably call this a cable car) as I realised I'd never actually been on it despite having been to Miyajima umpteen times (I get the impression Chie is not really a fan of this sort of thing so it made sense to go by myself). I couldn't resist but take a picture of this sign.14:24:21 On the first stage of the ropeway now. It was a lot more scary than I had imagined!14:24:51 The cars on the first stage are really tiny - although the sign says they fit up to 8 people, there was really only room for 6, and even that was a squeeze.

14:27:36 ....still, the views were quite spectacular.14:28:51 That's the suburbs of Hiroshima over there in the distance.14:32:17 It was a bit hazy (as always in Japan!) today, but still I could see to quite a good distance - although probably my camera was struggling a bit more than my eyes were.

14:38:29 This is in the second of the two ropeway sections now, a slightly bigger and newer cable car here. You can see that chestnut island here.14:38:34 Looking across to the other peak.14:39:01 Another view from the second cable car (although I took this with one hand so it is not very straight).

14:39:27 The cable car coming in the opposite direction.14:41:51 It would be frankly impossible to walk past any sign entitled "Monkey information" without stopping to take a picture. Now, monkeys are around here!14:43:10 I'd actually took a picture of this sign a few years ago - there's something charming about the phrasing - "We do not hope to be such a monkey. Please, refrain from feeding us."

14:43:55 Great views to be had from the area around the ropeway station.14:44:05 Lots and lots of scenic views from here on - I don't think I'm going to be able to write comments for all of them.14:45:06

14:45:17 ...trying to get arty here.14:45:24 14:47:05

14:48:07 Whilst taking pictures of all the great views to be had, I heard a small boy proclaim excitedly to his mother "saru ota!" - this is Hiroshima dialect for "there were monkeys!". I couldn't help but be whipped up in the excitement. You can only just see them here, but...14:48:48 ...I was then able to get much, much closer.14:48:54 Fantastic - I could have reached out and touched it (although I suspect the money would have stolen my camera and bit a few of my fingers off had I attempted to do so).

14:49:37 I guess in reality these are only really semi-wild - a bit like the deer that also roam Miyajima... but still, this was quite amazing for me - I've never been this close to a monkey outside of a zoo before.14:56:51 I decided now I had come this far I ought to walk across to the next peak - Mt. Misen - here's a view back to the ropeway station from part of the way across.14:56:58 ...and with a bit of zoom. It reminded me of the hideout of a villain in a James Bond movie.

14:58:14 More nice views to be had on the way across to the peak of Mt. Misen.14:58:21 It's a bit hazy but hopefully you can make out this ship chugging past the chestnut shaped island.14:59:06 ...there had apparently been a big landslide by the side of the path here which was a bit unnerving.

14:59:13 ...more of those views...14:59:48 15:02:47 ...almost at the peak of Mt. Misen now, there's a little area just below the top with a few shrine buildings.

15:05:55 ...plus lots of these little cairns and shrines along the way.15:06:04 One of those little statues, looking pretty worn here.15:08:16 There are some huge boulders just before you get to the top of Mt. Misen.

15:09:23 At the top now, and yet more great views to be had.15:09:54 ...and of course, that famous cafe.15:10:53 ....with a delightfully nostalgic vending machine inside. There are no roads that go right to the top, so presumably everything they sell here as to be hand carried for the last bit.

15:12:00 ...yet more views.15:12:21 Those giant boulders at the top of the mountain...15:12:44 ...and again, as seen from the top of the little cafe building.

15:13:00 I guess that's Hiroshima in the distance.15:13:12 ...and if you look carefully, you can just see the umi-no-tori here.15:13:27 A couple of antennae - I called Chie from here, the mobile reception was very good!

15:13:44 Yet more views...15:17:20 I think that's the ropeway station down there.15:19:40 ....another of those little statues.

15:21:11 I rather liked this wizened old tree.15:40:32 ....back on the ropeway now.15:40:50 The shadow of the cable car on the forest canopy below.

15:41:34 ...one last view from the ropeway.15:44:16 ...there's the larger of the two ropeway carriages.15:49:11 ...and back onto the smaller one again...

15:53:28 ...going back down to the first ropeway station.15:53:33 ...and more of the same ropeway pictures...15:59:05 ....last one!

16:12:05 ...back down on the ground now - a little gateway on the way out of Momijidani park.16:19:03 Met up with Chie and her parents again now - and the chance to take a couple of the usual touristy photos...16:19:46 ...plus an attempt to recreate one of our wedding photos.

16:19:49 ...and again.16:27:30 Me and one of the giant shamoji (rice paddles).16:27:33 ...and again.

16:50:21 Back on the ferry to the mainland now.16:45:59 (you may notice the time went backwards here - I realised the clock on my camera was a few minutes fast so I corrected it)19:15:17 In the centre of Hiroshima - a rather blurry picture of the tram that brought us here.

19:33:24 Our favourite sushi restaurant (Sushi Tei) was very full when we first tried to go there, so we decided to have a light snack and a couple of drinks at another old favourite - a dirt cheap "family restaurant" called Grazie Gardens.20:34:21 In Sushi Tei now (we still had a fair bit of a wait) - Chie is very excited about sashimi - in fact she almost looks teary over it!20:34:39 Chie's parents - although a bit of a problem with the lighting here...

20:34:59 ....that's better!21:01:42 One of the more unusual sushi I had - I think these were the shoots from spring onions.21:33:32 Outside Sushi Tei.

22:25:17 We rounded off the evening with a drink at Molly Malone's.