Japan Trip 2 – Day 7

Day 7 of my second trip to Japan, and it’s hard to believe I’ve already nearly been in the country for a week (I arrived on a Thursday and it took a day to get here).

After last night’s marathon dinner, I was looking forward to breakfast in the hotel, but really not that hungry. So when it was presented to me, I couldn’t believe how much food there was!

And besides what you could see in the picture, there was also a bowl of rice, some miso soup, and a bowl of boiling hot tofu as well. It was definitely a struggle to eat it all, so I left what I thought I could without appearing rude (i.e. most of the rice), and polished off the rest.

Then, I checked out, and left my suitcase behind at the hotel, as I wasn’t done exploring Miyajima yet. The tallest mountain on the island is called Mount Misen, and as it was a beautifully sunny day, I was hoping the views from the top of the mountain would be amazing.

First I wandered through Itsukushima shrine. It was pretty early in the morning, so the place was lacking the throngs of tourists from the day before. Then, it was off to find the cable cars that would take me partway up the mountain.

This is where I tried to get a selfie with a deer, but it ran off just as I got my phone out. Boo!

Anyway, the cable car ride was in two parts – one in a small car that I sat in myself. The views were pretty spectacular. Now I’m not scared of heights at all, but I’ve got to say the car didn’t feel 100% secure. And it was going up the mountain steeply.

And the safety signs weren’t completely reassuring…

I’m not sure that I would be able to stay quiet if things had started to go wrong. Anyway, after about ten minutes, I reached the next cable car station. And then continued the journey. This time jam packed in with other tourists. And when I say jam packed I could hardly breath thanks to a rather large woman beside me.

That’s not her in the pic. After a much shorter journey, we were apparently about four fifths of the way up the mountain. The last 100m ascent was spread out over a kilometre, after which you reached the summit, and an observatory. It was boiling hot. And the climb was steep. To say I was sweating would be a severe understatement. Half way up the mountain was a hall with an eternal flame, which was apparently used to light the Peace Monument’s flame in Hiroshima that I’d seen the day before.

There were also helpful signs about what to look out for on your climb.

After what seemed like an eternity of walking on slopes of an eighty degree angle and climbing lots of stairs, I eventually made it to the top of the mountain. Here’s the proof!

And yes that’s a sweat mark where my bag had been. I can’t be bothered photoshopping it out. The views of lots of small islands, and even Hiroshima were pretty spectacular, and were worth the climb.

And the walk back down the mountain was a lot easier than the climb up. Every time I passed someone going uphill I was thinking “Boy, you don’t know you’ve got a long way to go!”.

After riding back down in the cable car, I made my way back to the hotel, where there was a wedding taking place. The bride’s outfit was very different from wedding dresses in the UK!

I collected my bag and headed to the ferry for the journey back to Hiroshima. There I picked up my suitcase from the hotel I’d stayed in two nights ago and caught the Shinkansen to Osaka. It’s my favourite city in all of Japan, so I’d decided to stay here for four nights. I arrived about six o’clock, checked in to my apartment, and headed to a really nice Starbucks just up the road. It’s in a bookshop just off Dotombori, and was a relaxing place to write up some more of my blog.

A quick wander round the shops later, and I picked up a tonkatsu sandwich for dinner, and after catching the last episode of “The Driver” (which I felt was a bit of a let-down!) I headed to bed.