難波の南蛮、戎橋の夷。

Hiroshima 3- Sacred Isle

Let me start out by apologizing.  I’m not really the blogging type.  It’s not something that comes naturally, and I so often neglect to post anything, let alone anything of interest.

So where was I in my last post?

There I was.

The seas around Hiroshima are full of little islands.  One of the larger ones off the coast is Miyajima, an island with a small town and a long history as a religious site.  It’s also very famous as one of the most scenic places in Japan.

Itsukushima Shrime is the most famous part of the island, dating in its present incarnation to the glory days of the Taira clan of samurai in the 12th century.  Depending on the tide, the torii gate is either on a sandy beach, or off the shore out in the water.  It is definitely the most well-known shrine gate in all of Japan.

The island’s town is full of wandering, semi-domesticated deer who pretty much have the run of the place.

The complex of Itsukushima itself, in its tidal shallows. At highest tide, not only the gate, but all those buildings stand on stilts over the water.

Behind the shrine, you can see Misen, the ridge-like mountain in the center of the island.  Feeling adventurous, we all elected to scale it by foot.

Denizen of the mountain

There ahead is the peak…

 

Near the summit is a small Esoteric Buddhist temple. In the tower burns a constant fire, its smoke filling the air and slowly blackening the building itself.  To simply walk inside is a serious trial.

Small sub-temples and altars follow the step winding steps to the summit.

At the top, this slowly rusting platform, tended by an elderly man selling victuals.

 

Island country

On the other shore is the city Hiroshima

Hiroshima closer

The city center at max zoom

Back in the village below. The tides are beginning to roll back up.

 

Within the pillared halls of Itsukushima Shrine itself.

 

With the sun descending and the village going to bed early as small villages do, we took the ferry back into Hiroshima.  Not to settle down quite yet, however, but to partake in some extreme karaoke.  After all, in my opinion you have to drink in a city late at night, before you can really tell what it’s like…

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2 responses

  1. lord kelvin

    The mountain spirit assessed your worthiness and allowed you to pass (see: denizen)

    May 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

  2. Pingback: A Thousand Years in the Telling | perihele

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