Welcome to Miyajima, an island just a half hour train ride south of Hiroshima and man is it gorgeous! This is one place where the city has not taken over completely, leaving lots of greenery and foliage to contrast with the sandy beaches and crisp salt water. In other words, it’s a great place to get away from the city. It’s also a great place for hiking. Though, due to my jam-packed day I did not take advantage of this. Instead, I stuck to the shoreline.
With a quick ferry ride to the island from the mainland of Japan, I arrived at Miyajima early in the morning before the horde of tourists swamped the island. It was quite nice. I was able to walk at my own pace and see what I wanted to see and not have to worry about people walking in front of my pictures.It also made petting the friendly deer easy because they weren’t being crowded yet (which they most definitely were later in the day). Yes, you heard me right, friendly deer. The island has quite a large population of deer who seem quite used to the high human population level. They wander down sidewalks, lay down next to buildings, and even let you pet them without so much as a care in the world. It’s quite funny, especially coming from America where deer are more often something to shoot with a gun and eat if not hit with your car.
Though, the deer were not the main reason I came to Miyajima. :p No, I came to see the floating torii. It’s not actually floating, but is so named because of how it looks during high-tide when the water rushes up the island, swallowing the bottoms of the torii. In fact, this particular torii is considered one of the three great sights to see in Japan. ^.^ Aka, I feel pretty cool for deciding to go see it.
What I didn’t expect while traveling and sight-seeing in Miyajima was a tour group of Japanese people, who seemed rather fascinated by me: the Caucasian girl. :p They seemed so fascinated that they actually asked to take pictures with me and of me in front of the torii. Haha! Of course, I couldn’t stop laughing because it was so gosh-darn funny, but I gladly agreed to their pictures (and thanked myself for looking presentable for the day. Haha!)
Still, what baffled me the most wasn’t the Japanese people asking to take pictures of me like I was some Grade-A model. :p It was the ocean. I know, silly, right? How could someone find the ocean baffling? Well, when you live in a country as big as the United States and you live in the middle of it at that, the ocean isn’t something you can just pop on over to or see that often. It was so surreal sitting on a bench and just watching the water and reminding myself ‘that’s salt water. It’s the ocean. There are whales, sharks, octopus, squids, stingrays, and jellyfish in there.’
Haha! I told you it was silly, but I grew up near The Great Lakes. While large bodies of water, they’re fresh water. You won’t find any carnivorous fish living there. Well, even the ones that do live there aren’t big enough to eat you. :p And the water is ‘technically’ safe to drink while salt water isn’t. Needless to say, I had to just sit awhile and watch the waves roll into the beach until I realized time was flying by and I had lots of other things to see. :p