Friday 22nd July 2005

An evening spent on Miyajima for a swim, a few beers on the beach, and a festival that had something to do with boats.

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17:28:01 A view of Miyajima from the mainland, whilst waiting for the ferry.

17:29:52 An old anchor in the harbour.

17:42:21 Chie on the ferry on the way over.

17:43:11 Me on the ferry too.

17:46:05 The boats that were part of this festival thing, milling around the tori.

17:46:46 There's the tori, seen from the sea... and it was low tide, which meant we'd be able to go and stand underneath it.

17:48:21 A couple more boats in front of the tori.

17:56:11 On dry land now I think, and there's some boats. Errr.

17:56:17 Walking along the (surprisingly smelly) beach to the tori.

18:01:11 ...and here it is! Rather pleased with this picture, it was a bit hard to frame it up, but it looks like I've got it all in.

18:01:18 This is a bit more "dynamic" than the first one.

18:01:40 Following the now standard routine with these pictures, we swapped over and now I was the subject.

18:01:49 Me and the tori again.

18:01:55 Me coming back from the tori to pick up my camera.

18:02:10 Chie on the beach.

18:02:32 A few more tori pictures just to make absolutely sure...

18:02:42 ...and another...

18:05:46 with a sign as well.

18:06:05 ...and one with a slightly interesting sky.

18:48:31 We were determined to go for a swim as it was so hot, so we returned to the beach we'd been to last time I was in Japan, which is a bit of a walk, over on the other side of the island.

19:09:25 Just to prove I had definitely been swimming! Please accept all the usual apologies - you probably didn't want to see this!

19:09:31 I've found that drinking beer on the beach immediately after (and definitely not before!) swimming gives it a whole new dimension - I heartily recommend it.

19:09:50 Chie, very reminiscent of a number of beer adverts here in Japan!

19:15:03 This was no ordinary beer either - we had managed to find Orion - the "other" Japanese beer. This is a product of Okinawa, and not widely available in the rest of Japan. This is only the second time I've had it - the other time being, funnily enough, at a Japanese restaurant in Oxford.

19:30:46 Chie on the phone to Hide.

19:34:49 A random and pointless picture of the beach and sea.

19:39:08 The hour or so we spent sitting on the beach here was so nice, just relaxing (and drinking beer!) - it was one of those "we really must do this more often" moments.

20:03:41 It had really got quite dark at this point, and I naively thought I'd be able to get a picture without the flash!

20:04:44 Here's another go at the same picture with the flash on. Now I'm sure it wasn't really that dark!

20:27:50 On the way back to the other side of Miyajima, I found the lighting of these two tunnels sufficiently eery and interesting to merit a picture.

20:50:48 A view across to the lights of the mainland, through some trees. I used the night-time mode on my camera for some of these pictures, which does manage to get a fair amount of detail in, but also gets all the colours wrong!

20:54:30 The bit of the festival where people carrying chochin (lanterns) beckon the boats into the shore, where one of the shrines is.

20:54:56 Same picture with different light setting I think.

20:55:32 ...and again.

20:59:14 A bit blurred...

20:59:23 Ah that's better! I was determined to get hold of one of these lanterns, and seemingly they were free! Incidentally, that's not the same tori over there, it is a smaller version, at this other little shrine along the coast a bit from the main one.

21:00:04 Same picture with the flash on - not sure which I prefer.

21:00:57 Chie holding the lantern thing.

21:01:40 Chie and the lantern again.

21:05:16 This had obviously become something of a source of fascination to me, perhaps a result of having had a bit to drink!

21:08:05 A picture of the boats coming in to the little harbour here.

21:11:38 One of the boats seems to have docked...

21:12:10 It seemed necessary to hold the lanterns up a bit higher at this point, for some reason.

21:12:54 Another boat comes into harbour.

21:14:57 One of the boats seen through the tori.

21:16:13 These two ladies here are winners of the "Miss Miyajima" contest. It would have seemed rude not to have my picture taken with them.

21:16:54 More boats (and the backs of people's heads!) again.

21:23:20 That lantern still hasn't lost its novelty value then!

21:27:16 Me in front of quite a lot of lanterns.

21:27:48 ...and again.

21:29:06 I think the boats are heading back out to sea again now...

21:29:32 ...a bit hard to make out anything much from these pictures!

21:34:43 Hmmm...

21:47:34 A blurry picture of the procession of lantern carriers, on their way from the smaller shrine where we were before, to the main shrine. We got on a fery and headed home shortly after this.