Like a middle aged women in a mid-life crisis clinging to her youth, you’ll find me clinging to Japan. I started a Guide To Japan a while back but it doesn’t even begin to cover where I’ve been – me thinks it’s time to hack away at it again! I love Japan so much and I hope this will help you with planning where to go and inspire you to travel to Japan. It was really hard to choose which place to start off with again but my trip to Miyajima and Hiroshima had impacted me the most. Keeping things in chronological order I’ll write up Miyajima first as we visted in the morning with a rush to Hiroshima in the arvo.
Itsukushima-jinja is known as one of the 3 most beautiful sights in Japan and a UNESCO world heritage site. It is one of those places that words cannot describe and a photograph cannot capture the true essence. I was lucky enough to catch it at high tide where the bright orange torii and the temple appeared to float on water (pretty for photography). At low tide you can even walk up to the torii itself :)
Wandering the streets of Miyajima we come across some beautiful sights :)
Omotesando is a street filled with souvenir shops and tourist trapped restaurants – for anything Miyajima/Hiroshima related try here otherwise for more generic Japanese things the walk up to Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto is one of the best places to buy souvenirs at pretty decent prices. Not sure what the significance is but saw a big ass wooden rice scoop at Omotesando – it was more than 5 meters long!
Momiji manju are maple leaf shaped cakes with different flavours of fillings e.g. green tea, cheese, chocolate etc. It is something that Hiroshima and Miyajima are famous for but I found they tasted alright.
You cannot leave without eating oysters – yes Omotesando is probably a tourist trap but how can you bare to say no? A small side stall grilled the fresh oysters, cracked it opened and gave a slice of lemon to squeeze onto it before you slurped it up.
Best to try split Miyajima and Hiroshima into two days as our morning was quite rushed trying to fit Miyajima in. It would have been much easier to have more time to leisurely wander and absorb it all.