Today we had the opportunity to visit Miyajima Island, which is considered to be the Island of “The Gods”. It’s a little island located less than an hour away from the city center of Hiroshima. We took a ferry there, and the first thing we saw was the Floating Torii.
The first thing we heard was the announcement telling us that the deer on the island are wild and that they can get aggressive, therefore we should not feed them food. We were told to not approach them, especially the deer with antlers. Despite this, there were many people feeding and taking selfies with the deer, who acted like oversized pigeons in the manner that they would pester and follow those with the treats.
After making land, we headed to Itsukushima Shrine, which is one of the shrines in the island. The shrine is situated on the edge of the island, and the "floating" torri gate is situated further out in the water. When we first arrived, the tide was out enough that one could go right up to the gate. Later in the day the tide came back in, giving the gate and shrine the more famous look of floating in the sea.
Afterward, we broke into two groups to climb Mt. Misen. Those who wished to traverse 535 meters up by foot started the long staircase up, while others decided to pay around 1000 yen to take the gondola. By the time those of us who walked up we were at the top, we were dehydrated, tired, and sweaty. However, it was so worth it; we got so many amazing pictures. On the way down from Mt Misen, we visited the Daisho-in Temple in the foothills of Mt. Misen.
Once we finished exploring Miyajima, we made our way back across Hiroshima to one of the outlying villages to visit Dan Friedrich, one of Professor Kopf's former students, at his brother-in-law's temple. Once we reached the temple we were treated to a lecture by Dan and a Japanese-style hula dance put on by the Buddhist women's association of the temple. After dancing, the ladies served us an amazing and delicious dinner.
Hiroshima, you have been amazing!! And I can truly say that the adventures we have had here will not be forgotten. It's getting late and we have class in the morning, so time for bed.