Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Miyajima, Japan

Google Maps: Miyajima, Japan
The ferry transported us to another world. The matter-of-factly Japan somehow vanished across half the mile of sea as we entered Miyajima. In front of us was a green island with lofty mountains that invited you for a trek. The foothills were not bad either - the gigantic orange coloured Grand Torii Gate being the crown jewel. We were told this was one of the top three most scenic spots in entire Japan. I believe it now.

Grand Torii, Miyajima

The best part of a ferry ride is how one view enlarges and another diminishes. You cannot have that in a closed train or a fast moving plane. Sea-rides are meant to absorb the slow and kaliedoscopic drift of time. However, so beautiful and engrossing was the view that in no time Miyajima island was afoot. We could see the Torii and a crowd thronging it but the way seemed long.

Miyajimaguchi from Miyajima

The entire path from port to the gate bustles with shops of all kind. Japanese love sea-food. Most of the stalls were food and souvenirs, punctuated by hotels and lodges. We enjoyed the trip although quite aware that it was already late evening and we had to take a train from Hiroshima back to Osaka. The thought quickened our steps.

Miyajima Beach

The Grand Torii Gate is a symbol of Japan. While literally it means a bird's nest, it actually represents a transition from bad to good. For this reason, most of shrines are built with torii gates. The one in Miyajima is probably the mother of all torii gates and Japs come just to cross it once to wash out all sins. This is equivalent to a holy dip in the Ganges. So we did it.

View and the Grand Torii

Trip back from Miyajima was without any notable events although it was only at 9 that we reached our hotel room. It was a remarkable day covering the atomic bomb site in Hiroshima and one of the most beautiful view that Japanese countryside offers.