Friday, July 11, 2014

Japan Day 5- Miyajima

Miyajima is a small island outside of Hiroshima.  You have to take a ferry to get there.  The day we went it was very overcast but still beautiful!  These pictures don't do it justice!  

This is the great Torii.  It is a symbol of Miyajima and sits in the water during high tide.  During low tide you can walk right to it.  It has been reconstructed over the years but the current structure was last rebuilt in 1875.  Wow!   

The Torii is part of the Istukushima Shrine which is a shrine floating on the sea.  This is a picture of it during low tide.  

When we were passing by the shrine we happened upon a traditional Japanese wedding!  The groom is in white and the bride is in the black and red kimono.  :)  

Look at the island's tiny little fire trucks!  They are so cute!  They look like Tonka trucks!

That afternoon we went on an impromptu hike up to Maple Leaf Park.  There are Japanese Maples everywhere and they are bright green.  It was beautiful!  While we were up there we met a teacher and his wife that were from either Tennessee or Kentucky (I can't remember).  He taught English in Japan for a few years and they were back on a two week vacation.  He said that now he teaches Japanese in a school in the states.  So cool!  

When we were heading back down, we spotted a baby deer.  It's mother was close by but she let us get close enough to take a picture.  :)  

Did I mention that deer run wild in Miyajima too?!? 

After our hike we explored the little city a little bit and did some shopping.  This is what a typical street in Miyajima looks like.  Some people have shops outside or below their homes.  

This is what I had for lunch in Miyajima.  It was hot soba noodles with oysters.  Yum!  

I can't do a post about Miyajima without sharing a quick story about our trip there.  We were on a train taking us from Hiroshima to the ferry to Miyajima.  The train was kind of full and so I was standing up and holding onto the pole.  The train stops and several people get off.  I look to my right and there is an older Japanese lady looking at me with a sweet smile and motioning for me to sit down next to her.  I take a seat and nod in appreciation.  There is a definite language barrier there but she tries to communicate with me.  I tell her that I am a sensei from America and that we are headed to Miyajima.  She hears Miyajima and her face lights up.  She begins talking animatedly in Japanese.  I didn't understand a bit of what she said and so she takes out a piece of paper and begins to draw.  It was lie a game of pictionary!  She began to draw a maple leaf and wrote the word candy.  She wanted me to try the maple candy in Miyajima.  Then she drew a picture of the Torii and labeled it red.  She continued to show me different things I needed to see while I was there.  I began to realize that she knew a little bit of English.  We continued to communicate this way until we reached our stop.  She was so sweet and I wish that I had gotten a picture with her!  It was such an amazing experience and it made my day!  

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