Japan 2019 Day 4 - Itsukushima Island

Jul 29, 2019 11 min read


Buckle up, day 4 is the longest day of the whole trip.


Previously on…

Hotel Sunroute

Good morning, Hiroshima.

4 hours of sleep. Oof.
Stayed up way too late browsing the internet then woke up early due to jet lag.


Why bother training staff when you can leave everything to the AI?
I couldn’t get the kettle station to work so I plugged the kettle into the wall.


All my hotel rooms came with an emergency flashlight in case of natural disasters.


15 minutes later, the water finally boiled.
My phone also never fully charged while I slept.
The power outlets here are weak, man.


Finally, a coke that’s good for you…
…and I forgot to bring it with me.


I always liked these magnetic cards that you stick on your door.

Trying out a new laundry strategy this trip.
I’m washing my clothes in the sink and hanging them up to dry overnight.
Now I can reduce the amount of clothes I need to bring and save space.
Wore my synthetic running shirt most days because it dries quickly.


First I’m going to check out the Shukkei-en Garden next to Hiroshima Station.
Hiroshima is a pretty small city so I’m going to walk. Nothing is open yet anyway.

Hiroshima’s tram, the Streetcar

Also it’s going to be rush hour soon so I’d rather stay off public transport.




Morning commutes are comfy when you don’t have work.

Shirakami-sha Shrine

Cute shrine in the middle of the city.
The original was blown away by the bomb but some stone lanterns survived.


🦆

Former place of Kokutaiji Temple and Atago Pond

I took this photo randomly but turns out it has its own marker on Google Maps.
It would be a chill place but it’s noisy next to the main road.


Family Mart selling these cigarette heaters.
They claim these taste nicer than burning them.


I like melon soda. I like cream soda. But this melon cream soda 👎


Quick brekkie.


This is the first time I’ve come across a petrol station in Japan. It’s weird.

beep beep


Popped into a 711 and a piano version of Toto Africa was playing over the speakers.

Downtown Hiroshima



I wanted to get off the main road and explore the side streets.


Holy, power lines, Japan.


Men’s internet! You can sleep here!


It’s an internet cafe.
Comfy private room. Free library of porn DVDs. Only 2000 yen a night (plus tax).
I should stay in one of these some day. This one even has VR headsets to rent.

They also offer a telephone club service.
Where the phone in your room is connected to girls to “chat” with.
I thought these things died with the invention of the mobile phone.


Wait…


Am I…?


Yup. I’m in that part of town.
It’s surreal seeing all this out in the open. It’s either banned or subtle in the UK.


They’re like a concierge.
They also seem to have lost control of their web domain.

U want sum fuk?


🐈
Wandering around these empty streets is kinda comfy.
It all feels so innocuous this early in the day.



Ok. I’m done.


Nice place.

Elisabeth University of Music

🌸 Shukkei-en Garden 🌸


Arrived just as they opened.


Nani is this


Try not to fall in.


This is the most Japanese looking tree.



Gardeners already hard at work.


It’s like I’m in Kyoto again.


This knocked-over tree is supposedly the only thing to survive the bomb.


The whole garden is built around a pond.




Strolling strolling strolling.


The garden contains plants for all seasons including the ume blossoms.
Best reason to visit at this time of year is the lack of crowds.



We’re reaching the end of the blossom season but they’re still pretty~



Elders taking pictures of flowers is always cute.


🐈


Comfy. All that’s missing is some hot tea.


The architecture of the garden is designed to look like miniature landscapes.
I can imagine tiny Dragonball fighters zipping around.

Well, that was lovely/10.

Spent just under an hour strolling through.
10am now and more people are starting to show up.


Wow, a real anime school.


The main train station is just across the river from the garden.

Hiroshima Station


Hello Kitty is here to upsell you on unnecessary packages.


Second brekkie at a bakery.

Melon bread, some sweet bread, curry bread, croquette.
My brain picked things up without thinking about whether I could eat it all.
My stomach: why do you do this

The milk tea tastes creamier than in the UK.


Yo, this croquette is good.

Miyajima Island (Shrine Island)

Some comfy train ambience for you.

The train announcer at 1:15 was making me sleepy.

There is a direct ferry from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island (AKA Itsukushima Island).
That ferry isn’t covered by the JR Pass though and it’s like 3000 yen.

Instead, take the train from Hiroshima Station to Miyajimaguchi and there’s a ferry there.
Both of these are covered by the JR Pass and doesn’t take that much longer.


The ferry terminal is right outside the train station.


⛴ time



You can sit inside or go up to the exposed observation platform.


10 minutes later…it’s the thing!


We’ve arrived.


Deer live around the island.
There are signs telling you to be careful with your maps or the deer will eat them.

Tell me your secrets


I don’t know why you would come here to visit an animal cafe.


Can’t feel house keys. Panic. Remember I’m in Japan. Repeat 3 times a day.




Cursed souvenirs.



Miyajima is where you can try all the local dishes like oysters or momiji manjus.


wow I love Hiroshima

Onii-chan, give me your money~


Now entering the holy part of the island, which is, like, most of it.



🦌


Umi da!


It’s the thing from all the photos.


Also known as the torii floating in the sea.
Hard to tell how big it actually is until you see it in real life (or in VR).

Yoisho~


No fucks given.


comf


Itsukushima Shrine. It’s a big deal.

We’ll be back.

Five-storied Pagoda

Woah, cool.


Woah.



It’s like a manju factory.


Wait what. Wow, it’s the last day too.
Guess I’m not going up the mountain today.


And now to walk all the way back… Oof, the lack of sleep is starting to hit.


I wasn’t going to check out the Buddhist temple here but I have nothing better to do.

Daisho-in Temple


Hey, that guy is using the same camera as me. Fuji bros! ✊

Dai-hannyakyo Sutra

The 600 volumes of Dai-hannyakyo Scripture were introduced by Sanzo, a Chinese monk.
It is believed that touching these sutras will bring you enormous fortune.

Oh, boy! Free luck!

(I actually took this video when I was leaving so pretend the video is in reverse.)

The Belfry

This bell is rung when it is time to start worship.
Visitors can also ring it to make a wish.
I could hear this bell going off in the distance every 5 minutes.

(I already messed up this shot multiple times.
I should have figured out how video recording works on this camera before the trip.)

500 Rakan Statues


Every statue supposedly has an unique face.


The quirky shopkeeper that shows up in every level to sell you powerups.

Henjokutsu Cave

These statues represent the 88 temples on the pilgrimage route in Shikoku.
Visiting this cave is like visiting all 88 temples.
It’s like a cheat code.


The guy who gives you the ability upgrade needed to unlock that door.

Mizukake Jizo

These guys are here to save the souls of your dead babies and children.



Buddhism really does make for the best video game aesthetics.

Prayer Wheels

Spinning 1 wheel grants the same blessing as reading 1 volume of the Heart Sutra.
For those players who skip all the lore and dialogue.

King Aizen Myo-o (AKA Ragaraja)

The final boss fight.
Ragaraja is here to save you from your sexual desires, leading to enlightenment.



Ah, Daisho-in, one of the most important temples in Shingon Buddhism.
Home to the famous statues of…[checks notes]…Ultraman?


Along with their mortal enemies, bent on destroying mankind, the kaiju? 🦀

Ok, Daisho-in Temple actually ended up being super cool. 👍/10
Probably my favourite temple due to the sheer variety of stuff to look at.
I didn’t even include all of it in this blog.


It’s only 2pm and I’m already knackered.
I’m not splitting this blog up so you can also feel the pain I was in.

Mt. Misen


Fuck it. I’ll hike up the mountain.
How bad can it be?


Omg, I’m sweating.
*shoves coat into bag*


Using this opportunity to listen to a new podcast I had downloaded for the flight.
It’s called Reply All. A podcast about stories from the internet. It’s good.


O-Oh… 😨


All of a sudden a ton of people show up at this dam.


And I’m alone again…


Almost there…


Do you dare enter?


This isn’t sketchy at all. Do you even squat, bro?


More graffiti.


There are even deer at the top of the mountain.

Ha, gay!


Unmanned shop working off the honour system.


nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan
nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan
nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan nii-chan


I’m not convinced you were meant to make offerings here.
Feels like one person dumped their change and everyone else followed suit.


Seems legit.


I made it.


Only took about an hour. Though it was pretty steep in places.


Top of the world! 🙌


Shout-out to this bag. It’s terribly well balanced.

“Kinda cold up here.”
*puts coat back on*
>it's still wet from the sweat
“ick”


I got kicked off. They were closing the observation platform.
I don’t know why they even bother. There’s nothing in it.


4pm lunch. H-Haha…
Wish I had eaten something from the market at the bottom first.


I went up the orange route on the left. Going down the brown/green route to the right.


The batteries in both my phone and camera died quite a while ago.
This whole trek up I’ve been juggling my USB charger between them.


Passed a couple of people coming up.
Hope they knew what they were doing. It’s getting dark.


This trail is so much rougher. It’s barely a path in some places.
Getting deja vu from that time I climbed Mt Takao.

My feet hurt.
Wearing the thin running shoes and I’m getting stabbed by rocks through them.
I have to lower myself down carefully which is tiring me out.
Whenever I stop moving, I can’t stop my knees from shaking.


Halfway…


Execute a triple jump perfectly and you can find a treasure chest on the other side.


I made it…


…to the bottom of the mountain.
Now I still have a long-ass walk to get back to the market…


Everyone has already left.
Just me and some deers digging through trash.

Itsukushima Shrine


I said I’d be back.



Just in time too. The shrine closes after sunset.


It’s like a postcard.


One of the biggest shrines in Japan. Dedicated to the 3 daughters of the great Susanoo.
A shrine so important that they named the island after it.
The stage at the front is used for dances.


Tide’s coming in.


The big ol’ floating torii in the sea.
The most Japanese photo that doesn’t include Mt Fuji.
Staying around for the sunset was worth it 🤤


Alright, time to leave.


Thanks. I want to die.

comf

I thought it was the same person from earlier at first.


I told you about that tide, bro.


Market’s closed. I never did get to try any of the food…


Sitting indoors this time. I need to, like, not move for a while.


Japan is the easiest place to buy souvenirs from thanks to their gifting culture.
There will be a shop or 10 in every train station.


Most underrated Japanese train feature. Window sills.
Oyasumi… 😴

Hiroshima


I’m back. Fuck buses, where’s the tram stop?
Oh hey, that building looks cool. What’s in there?


Damn, I’ve never seen so many magazines.


Toby Fox himself drew this masterpiece of a front cover.




This is some galaxy brain stuff.


Very interesting.



*boop*

Downtown Hiroshima


Right, I actually need to eat at some point.

Japan has these advertisement trucks that drive around blasting loud music.
Along with the politician trucks, I don’t know why they’re legal.


Huh, neat. You can play VR games at the top of this Donki.
>bandicam
Japan, please.


The production values of the games on offer don’t seem that great though.

Okonomiyaki Village (Okonomimura)

Okonomimura is a building filled with tiny restaurants that specialise in okonomiyaki.
Okonomiyaki is another one of Hiroshima’s local dishes so I had to try it.

The restaurants are completely open so you feel like an auction item while
walking around as all the workers try to lure you in into their shop.

*Elevator opens up right in front of a restaurant*
“IRRASHAIMASE”
*180 right back into the stairwell*
Well, I can’t go back onto that floor ever again…


I picked a random restaurant that had english signs out front.


Unlike in Osaka, the chef makes the okonomiyaki for you.
The ingredients are also layered instead of mixed together.



Oishii 😋
They don’t seem that big but it was surprisingly filling thanks to the noodles.
I might have ordered a second one though if I wasn’t so tired.

Hotel Sunroute


Oh, cute. They gave me a new set of amenities.
Thought I would have to forgo them if I didn’t want anyone entering the room.


There’s porn on the TV. Now I feel like an adult.
>1000 yen
I’m good.


Yes, Google. I teleported across the sea then back onto the mountain. Sounds about right.


💀

Next time…