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Visiting the Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine

Posing before the famous gate.

In addition to the obvious attraction, Hiroshima is also well known for the Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto shrine with a floating gate on the nearby island of Miyajima. Reportedly it is one of the three most beautiful sites in Japan.

Itsukushima Shrine

The Itsukushima Shrine gate.

I popped over there Monday, taking a train and then the ferry to the island. It is, indeed, pretty. But, of course, since I am an atheist, the nuances of religious sites are typically lost on me.

The gate, at high tide, appears to be floating – at least that’s what they claim. I was there at high tide and it appeared to me to be anchored in the sand below the water, but what do I know?

Visiting the site did, however, add yet another UNESCO World Heritage site to my long list of UNESCO sites visited—I should probably make a comprehensive list and see how many I’ve visited, whether intentionally or accidentally.

Miyajima Deer

Miyajima has many, many deer. These two knew the best restaurant on the island and waited patiently to get a table.

After wandering through the shine, the last important stop on the island was the world’s largest wooden rice scooper. Not much I can say about it.

World's Largest Wooden Rice Scoop

You’d need an extraordinarily large pot of rice in order to make use of this rice scoop.

Going back to Hiroshima, we took the expensive, tourist oriented, ferry that drops you off at the peace park – well worth it, as the route that the ferry takes provides for some dramatic views of the A-Bomb Dome shortly before docking.

A-Bomb Dome

View of the A-Bomb dome from the river.

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