Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Miyajima, the famous floating torii

One of the nicest places to visit in Japan is Miyajima, a small island easily accessible from Hiroshima and famous for the Itsukushima Shrine and its floating torii. True, the town of Miyajima is a tourist trap that I normally would recommend avoiding with the deer and souvenir shops, but the walk up to Mt. Misen (弥山, 530 meters) makes it all worthwhile. If you are healthy, skip the ropeway and follow the footpath instead, it takes about an hour. I enjoyed that so tremendously, walking through the woods, the serenity of  the hidden temples ringing their bells occasionally; it really felt for the first time like I had imagined Japan to be.