Miyajima

Still on the Shinkansen… I think I’ll write a lot of posts on it

Much like Hiroshima, I got here about lunch time with no where to stay. I eventually tracked down the Hostelling International Hostel in the city… but I missed it a few times since I confused it for a very run down laundrette or something… having had a look at it I decided I would be safer sleeping in the train station!

My JR pass covered the ferry between the mainland and Miyajima Island itself (where the UNECSO World Heritage Sites are)… got straight on it after I found the other hostel was closed for check in. Once I got there I started to realise there was a good reason for its WHS status…

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The freestanding Floating Tori is not buried into the seabed, it’s just standing like a table in the sea. Its huge!

There were warnings everywhere about the tame deer and that they like to nibble on things.

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Dunno what that one did to deserve antler removal.. but another one came over and let me stroke it etc… then promptly tried to eat my jeans! The Japanese folks around must have though it was strange that a 6ft 3 inch white guy was telling off a deer.

I converted my bag from a rollerbag to the backpack version (Osprey Soujourn, Google it to see what I mean). Thank god it can do that! The wheels would have been useless on the dirt tracks/sand etc. I even though it was time to take it for a hike… Up Mount Misen.

A helpful cable car helped me cheat most of the way up. ¥1000 was a bit steep for it (no pun intended), and it was hard to get into the cabin with the backpack on… like most things I seem to be doing, it was worth it:

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The monkeys up here are pretty tame too!

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The cable car, however, only takes you so far… you have to hike to the very top! With a large bag, that’s no trouble at all…

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Yeah, bollocks. As good as the bag is it’s yet to defy gravity and make itself lighter….

Well, after 20 minutes and quite a bit of sweating, I made it to the top.

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The deer however, did not make me feel welcome:

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I didn’t like it either.

I then had to high tail it down the mountain, not because that spiky headed bastard was chasing me, but because I wanted to camp that night on the Island itself.

After getting the cable car down again since there was no obviously easy route down on foot, I made straight for the Pier where the bus departed from. The Tourist Information lady was nice enough to call for me… and then had to tell me that they didn’t rent tents during the off season! Damnit!!!!

I got the ferry back over and checked into Backpackers Miyajima! They could not have been more helpful. They were giving me local area tips, showed me around the whole place, had a beer machine, free WiFi. The only flaw with it was that they had dorms that were essentially large rooms, subdivided into corridors of 8 bunks each. That made about 32 bunks per floor. It didn’t matter since you only had to worry about who was in your 8 bunk corridor… I had a snoorer in mine!

Anyway, I went back to the Island after a little while, deciding it was a good dinner spot… bollocks it was! Everything closed when the tourists left. However, that Floating Tori looks pretty good at night!

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After waiting ages for the ferry I went and found some Okomamayi (at least I think that’s how it’s spelled). Recommended by the hostel and it’s what Hiroshima is famous for.

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The next morning I decided to do a bit more of the Island before heading on to Beppu. Got up as early as I could (9 am) and got on that ferry for a 5th time!

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After a 2 hour temple trot, I headed for Beppu!

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