Thursday, 29 April 2010
Japan Trip Day 5 - Earth Tremor and Miyajima
Very early in the morning - about 5.30am - while sleeping on my futon at the World Friendship Centre I was woken by birds calling loudly outside my window. Moments later the whole building shook and rumbled and it originated from right underneath me. It only lasted a couple of seconds and then faded away. I fell back asleep.
At breakfast Barb (the lady who runs the WFC) confirmed it was an earth tremor. I've never experienced one before.
After breakfast I caught a tram to Miyajimaguchi Ferry terminal and then caught the ferry over to Miyajima. The day was bright and sunny and the water sparkled. The ferry only takes 10 minutes and i got great views of O-torii Gate in the water.
As I got to the island fairly early in the morning there wasn't too many tourists and i looked around the Itsukushima Shrine and then i wandered up to Daishoin Temple with its absolutely beautiful gardens full of figures - some dressed in hand knitted hats and jackets (a bit like the ones your granny would knit for you!). I loved it there.
I then embarked on climbing up Mount Misen - as i wanted to see if i could spot dandelions on the paths. I wasn't especially well equipped for such a steep climb (no walking boots, only one little bottle of water - proper tourist stuff), but felt ok about it when i passed a chap dressed in a full suit and posh shoes coming down the mountain. It took me about an hour and a half to get to the top and the views were breathtaking. Twinkling sea, little islands, blue sky and cherry blossom - perfect.
On my way down I started to chat with a chap called Alex who was travelling around the world. We spent the rest of the afternoon together exploring bits of the island - it was fun. As it goes i didn't find one dandelion on the island and was bitterly disappointed. The island is overrun by deer and i expect that might be the cause - eating all the small flowers and plants.
I collected dandelion leaves and a flower from the ferry terminal at Miyajimaguchi instead.
I spent the evening with Alex in Hiroshima where we ate gorgeous Japanese food in an empty restaurant and then spent time in a bar where we decided to sample as many Japanese beers as we could before falling over.
I think this was my favorite day on the whole trip.