Continued from Miyajima Part 2.
We had to wake up early today, seeing that breakfast was at 8:30am…Really hoped that we could have slept in. Sleeping was nice last night. We kept the windows open(they have bug screens!) and it was nice and cool as we slept.
Our traditional Japanese breakfast partially laid out when we came down to the dining room.
All the food was just as delicious and delicately made as dinner. Also enjoyed the view of the garden while we ate. Our stay at the ryokan has been perfect. This is easily the highlight of all of our accommodations.
After breakfast, we went back up to the room to finish packing and then we left our bags with the ryokan to hold for a few hours. Other than the shrine and the torii gate, there is another big attraction in Miyajima, Mt. Misen. You can climb up and down the whole way and it’ll take you probably 5 to 6 hours, or you can take a couple of gondolas that gets you to the base of the summit, then take an hour hike up to the top…Yeah, we are taking the gondolas.
Bright and sunny today. Kinda hot…in the mid 80s.
We walked to the base of the mountain, where some random man with a small ticket stand asked if we were here to take the gondolas. At another Asian country, he would be a tout trying to misdirect you. It took me a split second to realize that he’s probably the real deal since this is Japan. Sure enough, he sold us real tickets for the gondolas.
First, we get on a free shuttle that takes us to the gondola station.
Pretty short ride, and now we make another short climb up to the gondola station.
Alright, almost ready to head out. There’s no one so we got a carriage of our own.
Japan never ceases to amaze me. While the carriages are getting queued up to be released, they had placed a portable AC that blows right into the cabins so that you stay cool while stationary.
Not quite as imposing as Huangshan, but still very beautiful.
Looking back towards the sea. The mainland is over that stretch of water.
We saw a helicopter hovering here for a while and a person on a rope. Rescue or something else?
In about 10 minutes we’ve reached the top station.
Now we transfer to another gondola.
Is that so…
It’s nice that we have the nicer weather today. Visibility is relatively good, just with some slight mist.
On our way, this is looking back towards where we are coming from.
We’ve reached the other side. That peak is the top of Mt. Misen, where we are going to hike up to.
Fortunate for us, a good part of the hike is shaded.
Ah, very nice.
There’s a shrine up here on the mountain.
Some monk started this fire 1200 years ago and supposedly they’ve kept it burning the whole time without going out. I believe this is also the same fire that they used to light the Peace Memorial Park Fire in Hiroshima.
Moss everywhere. We are in heaven.
Surprised to see this small stone statue lifting weights.
I’ll give stone stacking a try.
Carefully balance it…
I am #1!!!
Alright, we’ve reached the top…but this deer is blocking our way…
Please don’t ram us. You shall not pass!!!
The observatory at the top.
I think that’s looking towards Hiroshima.
OK, time to head back down. We took the alternate route down the summit, and this seems to be the older of the two trails. This section was a lot tougher, it had a lot of smooth wet stones that were downward leaning. Our hiking shoes are great for dirt and stones, but TERRIBLE for smooth wet stones. We had to be very careful not to slip.
Survived that first section.
Look, I am so strong I bend steel. This section was all uneven, earthquake?
Love. They’re like little happy stars of bursting green light.
Back to the gondola station. That hike took about an hour, the perfect amount of physical activity for this morning.
Looking back to where we were just at.
The second gondola. This one has an even better cooling. They had the AC blowing cold air into a giant fan that blows into our gondola. Sweet!!
Reached the bottom station. Seriously, I wonder who thought about putting those portable ACs there. I mean, some person made a decision and somehow got the budget to buy it.
We left our ryokan at about 10, between the gondola rides and the hike, it’s now 12:25pm. Shit, the bus to take us down the mountain is on lunch break, so we’ll need to walk the rest of the way down. We are actually pretty tired right now.
Japanese maple. Never knew they had these small pink flowers.
They had fire hydrants here at the base of the mountain. Much more discreet than the ones on top of Huangshan.
Back to sea level. We picked up our packs from the ryokan and now we are heading to the ferry terminal and heading back into Hiroshima.
More nudie pictures. RL noticed these as well. She has a knack for noticing nudity.
This crab made it really far into town, like probably a quarter of a mile from the beach…He made a bad decision.
After that hot hike, we need some ice cream, green tea ice cream.
The are also making freshly made maple leaf shaped cakes.
Green tea soft serve. It actually came out of a sealed scoop of soft serve ice cream, which when put into the ice cream machine created this soft serve. Awesome.
Hit the spot after that hike.
Our packs feel so heavy right now. Our legs are tired. Seriously, all this walking and going up and down stairs have not made us any more fit.
School field trip. Fun, I miss those days.
This deer is following RL because it’s trying to steal her ice cream. Hurry, finish the ice cream!
Reached the ferry station.
My odd questioning face. Right before this photo was taken, we were approached by an Australian backpacker who had just gotten off the ferry. He was asking about what to do on the island, then he asked where we were staying in Hiroshima and what our plans were for the night. He was traveling by himself and wanted to hang out…but…he kind of jumped the gun. He didn’t even bother to establish a connection with us before asking so it ended up being really awkward. I think we’ll pass…
Too tired to even climb onto the second floor of our ferry with our packs.
Goodbye Miyajima, it’s been real.
Back onto the mainland, now a short walk to the train station.
Ohhh, tired legs. Not Huangshan tired, but still tired.
We need food.
This is a very brown train. Love how the trains here aren’t very crowded.
Then of course, stairs. We’ve reached Hiroshima station.
We are tired and want to go to our hotel, but first we must make some train reservations for when we head to Osaka in a couple of days.
OK, now we can leave the train station and connect to a streetcar.
Here it comes.
Japan is so safe that parents will just let their really young kids ride the public transportation by themselves. Amazing. Imagine putting your 7 year old kid on a Capitol Metro bus? Ugh.
Arrived at our stop, and it’s an island in the middle of the street with very narrow platforms.
Short walk to the hotel. We are tired, we’ve been up and traveling about for 7 hours now.
First gas station we’ve seen in Japan. You pull into a spot, they fill you up, and then you back out.
Arrived at our hotel, finally.
Ah Japan, with their alcohol vending machines. A teenager’s heaven.
This is what ??? a night gets you in Hiroshima. The room is small, but of course, immaculately clean.
The best view that we’ve had for our hotels. View of Peace Park and Atomic Dome(toward the middle right side).
Tired, but we’ve got dirty laundry business to take care of. Our hotel does not have a coin wash, but our front desk said that there’s a hotel next to us with a coin laundry.
They love white cars in Japan.
Found the business hotel with their coin laundry right inside the lobby. Nice, this will do just fine.
Saw a sticker on the ground similar to my hitchhiker stickers on my pack. Went back to our hotel to grab our dirty laundry now that we’ve verified an acceptable laundry spot.
We did a giant load and washing and drying costs us only $5.50!!! Not only that, the machine adds detergent automatically, so there’s no screw up like back in Seoul.
Hungry, had to get this at the 7 Eleven not far from hotel to tie me over until dinner time.
Beat, I think we’ll just nap and finish doing laundry until dinner.
It’s dinner time!!! We walked by a few restaurants by our hotel and decided on having some okonomiyaki for dinner. This place is about 20 seconds from the door steps of our hotel, nice.
Sake for RL and beer for me.
This is okonomiyaki Hiroshima style, so it has noodles in it.
Yes yes yes, so good!!! Ahhh, it’s been an excellent day. Some nice hiking in the morning and a nice dinner to close off the night.
Look at that giant scooter!
View from our hotel at night.
What a beauty. RL trying on her beautifying mask that she got from 7 Eleven.
Look at what else we found at 7 Eleven, Zima!!! Remember those? RL doesn’t, she’s too young to know.
Tried this different Asahi beer. I still much prefer Super Dry!!! Yeah!
To be continued at Hiroshima Day 2.