We decided to explore fairly close to Iwajima today. We took a train and then a ferry to Miyajima Island. Imagine these pictures when the tide is IN and the buildings and Torii gates appear to be floating.
As you approach the island you can't miss the red Torii gates, a symbol of Miyajima Island. The gates symbolize the sacred...and by putting them at the entrance the island the whole island is considered a sacred place. There are no maternity wards or cemeteries on Miyajima because no one is permitted to give birth or die on Miyajima. The island is covered in virgin forest as you are also not allowed to fell trees.
As you step off the ferry you are greeted by the Miyajima Deer....reminded us of camping with the Bowers in ID.
While Michael headed for the Torii gates, I took the kids to find some eats. The doors were very interested in this as well.
Very fun show to watch - note the musicians on the left and the dragons rose and fell, twisted and joined together....
We walked along the beach front, enjoyed the sights and snapped a few photos.
Torii of Itsukushima Shrine is listed as one of Japan's three most scenic views (Nihon Sankei). The warlord Taira no Kiyomori provided funds for the shrine which was built in the 12th century. The present gate was built in 1875 and is about 50 ft high.
Money is thrown at the gates and is imbedded in the the sand around the Torii gate....
as well as the structure itself....
We even saw a quarter amongst the yen
Itsukushima Shrine was founded in 593 and is built on stilts over a cove. The deck facing the bay includes the oldest Noh stage in Japan.
Goju-no-to - This Five Story Pagoda was built in 1407.
We left the beaten path and wandered down into the local area of Miyajima....twisty streets, interesting businesses...It was REALLY interesting when a truck and a car tried to pass on this street - both refusing to give an inch.
We noted these signs on many of the houses/businesses. We thought they had to do with the business inside...which worked for fish, sushi, and this sign which was on the front of a grocery store.
Our theory was tested when we saw houses with signs of rats, horses and this....
Amazing detail in this piece of wood work
We headed past the shops and town and into the forest...great trails, streams, more ponds and shrines.
LOVE this sign!
This was a GREAT outing. The Ferry and Train ride were perfect bookends to the start and end of the adventure. The deer met us as we walked back to the ferry and accompanied us.
Living all of life before the face of God...