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September 26, 2014 - One day at Miyajima

The sacred island of Miyajima is one of the most visited sights in Japan. So everyone who is interested in Japan is familiar with the sight of the Otorii and the Itsukushima shrine, but there are a lot of other things to do and see at this amazing island.
We started our day early and took the ropeway up to Mt Misen just after its opening. The one-way ticket costs only 1000 JPY and you'll have a magnificent view while traveling on it.

After reaching the top of the ropeway we had a gorgeous view of the Seto Inland Sea. After a 20-30 minutes walk from here we reached the first and most impressive temples of the summit, Reikado and Misen Hondo. Both temples are connected to Kobo-Daishi, the fonder of the Shingon school of Buddhism.

On the way to the top of Mt Misen we went past Fudo-iwa, a stone alcove where a statue of Fudo Myo-o is placed; and through Kuguri-iwa, a naturally created rock tunnel.

On the top of Mt Misen there is a nice observatory and resting place, where we enjoyed the panoramic view of the island, and thanks to the map craved in the concrete flooring of the top floor we could actually identify what we saw. And it was a nice place to have some rest before we started our walk back to the city.

We choose to go back to the city on the Daishoin hiking course. On our way we made a little detour to see Miyama-jinja, a shinto shrine with three buildings for three deities and a nice stone torii.

At the start of the Daishoin and Omoto hiking course there is a nice Niomon gate guarded by the two guardian kings.

The Daishoin hiking course just leads to the entrance of Daishoin temple. This temple was founded by Kobo-Daishi in 806, and was recently visited by the 14th Dalai Lama in 2006. Just after entering through the Niomon gate there are a lot of sutras which are believed to bring fortune if touched.

Beside the main stairs with the sutras there is an other way up to the temple where five hundred little statues pave the way.

While we were looking around the temple suddenly we started to hear a very intense drum playing. So we followed the sound and found that in the Maniden Hall a priest was playing on a taiko drum while he was praying and we watched the ritual for some minutes.

We also visited some other sights (Tahoto, Senjokaku, Gojunoto), so after this busy day we had a good okonomiyaki dinner and went to an izakaya to have a few drinks before finally having some rest while watching the illuminated Otorii at night.

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List of Posts:
2015/10/28 - Meoto Iwa and Ise Jingu
2015/10/26 - Hikone Castle and Genkyuen Garden with unexpected film shooting
2015/10/25 - Inuyama
2015/10/24 - Matsumoto Castle and Daio Wasabi Farm
2015/10/23 - Himeji Castle, the first autumn since reopening
2015/10/22 - Exploring Nagoya Castle and surroundings
2014/10/05 - Rainy days in Itoigawa
2014/10/03 - Two days in Takayama
2014/10/01 - A day in Kyoto about Shinto
2014/09/30 - Tea and Zen at Uji
2014/09/29 - Ninnaji and Takao
2014/09/28 - Exploring Kyoto's southern temples
2014/09/27 - Iwakuni and Hiroshima
2014/09/26 - One day at Miyajima