In the morning I headed out to 厳島 (Itsukushima) again.
My plan was to spend time on 厳島 in the morning, then head to Hiroshima in the afternoon to see the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in preparation for taking a photo of it at sunrise.
Once I was on the island, I made my way to 厳島神社 (Itsukushima Shrine).
I think I was actually heading to see torii gate again as there were less people around (It was around eight in the morning).
As it is situated near 厳島神社, I imagine that’s the reason why I ended up checking it out as well.
It was by far the largest shrine I had seen on the trip.
Seeing it in the morning whilst it was still high tide and with a small amount of people around gave a fairly relaxing atmosphere.
The beauty of the shrine was far more apparent to me as well.
After I was finished with 厳島神社, I made my way to 宮島水族館 (Miyajima Public Aquarium).
When I saw it whilst I was wandering on the previous day, I thought it would be worth checking out.
I found it to be as enjoyable as Osaka Aquarium.
Its focus was the Seto Inland Sea.
I think it did a good job of covering the inhabitants there.
However, I do feel that some of the tanks really should have been much larger than they were for some of the creatures.
After I left, realising I spent far more time than I thought I would (about two hours), I decided to go and see the Miyajima Natural Botanical Garden.
They were listed as being four kilometres away from the aquarium.
I thought this would give me a good opportunity to see if there were any beaches along the way (Gabe and I had brought swimmers with us as we wanted to go to a beach at least once during the trip).
I’m fairly certain I walked a distance longer than four kilometres.
The long and winding road (dun dun, dun dunnnn dun) would rise and dipping occasionally, gradually leading to a feeling that it was far, far longer than its advertised length.
I followed the road all the way to its end, seeing some oyster farms along the way and getting excellent views of the sea and land opposite to my location.
Once I reached the end of the road, I walked for a few minutes longer, soon reaching what appeared to be a ruin of an old building.
I didn’t explore it as I felt I was intruding.
There was another pathway in the area but as it appeared to be highly overgrown, I chose not to take it.
In hindsight, I’m pretty sure that a good part of the walk I did was the Miyajima Natural Botanical Garden and I didn’t realise at the time.
I started walking back, planning to head to the Okunoin Temple that followed a road connected to mine.
It didn’t look to be too far away from my location.
That was most certainly not the case.
Now, walking on an uphill road for somewhere around an hour-and-a-half a day after climbing a mountain, which was a day after getting around a mountain whilst carrying a bike is not my idea of fun.
There were times I thought it would be better to turn around, but decided not to as I thought I was close.
Eventually I did reach the temple grounds.
I rested for about ten minutes before asking someone (there were two people there who had driven up to maintain the area) where the temple was.
It was about twenty metres away.
It was small and humble, fitting in nicely with its surroundings.
I could hear someone praying inside.
After listening for about two minutes, I began to make my way back down… for about three minutes, when I stopped and took a path I saw on the way up that lead back to 弥山 (Mount Misen) instead.
Now, this was partly by accident.
Well, it kind of was partly by accident.
I wouldn’t have taken that path had I not been up there.
I thought it would be faster and also, as the sky was fairly cloudless, I wanted to get more photos from the observatory.
So, that is to say, it wasn’t by accident at all.
The walk to 弥山 was a nice change compared to walking along the road.
The biggest thing was that it felt less like walking on a road.
Surprising, I know.
There were parts that almost felt like being in the Australian bush.
It was a fairly smooth trek that took about an hour to complete.
When I reached the observatory, I took a few more photos and enjoyed the view again.
With a clear sky, it was still good.
Once I was finished, made my way to the cable cars (there are cable cars you can use to go up and down the mountain), took a few more photos there, then went down.
I didn’t enjoy cable cars before then and I still don’t now.
I wasn’t really interested in jogging/running down the mountain again though, so I dealt with it.
Once I was back down, I wandered a bit more around town, saw the Goju-No-To Pagoda, then made my way back to Miyajimaguchi.
When I got back, I spoke to the staff about what I got up to for the day, then spoke to Gabe.
He had a small wander around Miyajimaguchi, but didn’t really do much else.
He also extended our stay there by one night.
We had a few days with no accommodation booked to allow us to decide on a whim as to where to go after Miyajimaguchi.
We ended up extending the stay by a night as I thought it was a fantastic place and told Gabe it was worth it.
He seemed to be happy with the decision.
Anyway, after resting and showering, we went looking for somewhere to eat, but as we couldn’t find anything that seemed like something we wanted, we ate at the hostel instead.
They had pizzas and we found them to be satisfying.
I also had a cassis and orange as my drink.
I had never had it before. It was quite satisfying.
Soon after, due to my being tired, I went to sleep.