Thursday, April 19, 2018

Japan Day 15: Itsukushima

A highlight of our time in Hiroshima was our visit to Itsukushima, or more commonly 'Miyajima' (literally 'shrine island'), a sacred island just off the shores of Hiroshima's port. It was a simple street car and ferry ride to get there, with the boat ride over providing views of the Itsukushima Shrine, otherwise known as the "water temple", and the iconic Great Torii.

The tides didn't work in our favour to see it at its best, but we were provided with the opportunity to walk out near it, and for Adventure Baby to practice walking back and forth across a stepping stone bridge. When the tide is high, the temple and torii both look as if they're floating on water, and boardwalks give visitors a way to walk around the outside of the temple.

We turned back for town and found another Izakaya. We had a huge platter of food, a local brew, and explored every corner of the building following Baby around. Setting out to see more of the island, we were delighted to find another vegan gelato shop for dessert. We wandered our way through the small streets towards the ropeway that would take us up Mount Misen.

We shortly there after found a shuttle stop that would take us to the lower ropeway station. Having just missed the shuttle, we opted to continue on the path. The pictured sign didn't quite account for the extra time needed to manipulate a stroller up stairs and through the woods, but in the end we made it up, only shortly after the shuttle we could have waited for.

The walk was not without its charms, though baby failed to nap in the calm woods even with a soothing creek babbling by. After many stairs and sitting on nearly every bench at Baby's insistence, we reached the ropeway and left the stroller behind.

The ride up the mountain provided stunning views and once at the top we took in the panoramas of Hiroshima Bay and the Seto Sea. We absorbed what we could before making our way down the mountain (in the gondola once again). On the walk back to the docks we stopped briefly for some yakitori and fries before having to pack up in a panic as the deer that tourists feed came storming over to us.
You can only smile so much while trying to soothe a baby.

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