木曜日, 3月 15th, 2012...8:49 am

Miyajima: One day tour Part1

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Miyajima: One day tour Part1
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The big red torii that appear to float in the ocean are the most well known symbol of the Itsukushima Shrine, which is located on the island of Miyajima. The shrine had been referred to as the island on which god lives from long ago. It is a registered World Heritage site, and an important area which represents not only Hiroshima, but Japan as a whole as well. While the island may be a famous tourist attraction, it is also a very sacred place to Japan.

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To get to Miyajima, you can go by train using the JR (Japan Railway) or the Hiroshima Dentetsu, heading to Miyajima-guchi station, which is located on the opposite shore. If you are near Hiroshima station it is easiest to take the JR. If you are in the central part of Hiroshima city taking the Hiroshima Dentetsu is the most convenient.

After arriving at the JR Miyajima-guchi station, it is about a 10 minute walk to the ferry port, which will take you to the island.

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Station

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Ferry

There are two ferry companies, and if you are traveling during the day it is best to take the JR West Japan Miyajima ferry, which is located on the right side. This ferry will take you near the large torii of Itsukushima Shrine.

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Tide schedule

Before boarding the ferry take a look at the tide schedule. Depending on the tides, you can see different views of Itsukushima Shrine, so it may be good to keep in mind the times of the high tides while exploring Miyajima.

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Oyster beds

From the ferry you can see oyster beds floating in the water. Hiroshima is famous for oysters.

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Torii

Don’t forget to take pictures while approaching the torii.

After arriving at the pier, it is easy to visit Itsukushima Shrine because it is located near the coast.

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Giant rice paddle

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Souvenirs

At the souvenir shops there are a large number of wooden rice paddles. It is said that 200 years ago, a monk in training came to Miyajima taught the people how to make wooden rice paddles. He suggested that because Miyajima had no agriculture, they should make the wooden rice paddles to sell souvenirs and good luck charms.

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View of the torii

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Torii at low tide

When the tide is low it is possible to walk out into the sea to the base of the torii. It is 16 meters tall, and thought to weigh around 60 tons. The torii is made out of a camphor tree which was 500~600 years old. During construction, to build the torii (the 8th generation having been rebuilt in 1875), it was estimated have taken 20 years to look for the tree.

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Base of the torii

The foot of the torii is not buried, but the wood has pushed into the ground under water as the stake, and strengthens the ground. It seems to be that the rest is standing on its own.

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Shrine grounds

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Main hall

The main hall’s foundation is balanced upon the tops of rocks. Because the island is thought to belong to the god’s, to push a stake into the land of Miyajima was seen as a dreadful act, so it was built this way.

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