On Sunday morning we (Geoff, Xav, my ikebana friend Carla and I) met my ikebana teacher to go to Miyajima and Hiroshima. Kiyoko sensei (ikebana teacher) has a huge 6 seater car, although she lives on her own, so we all fit in, even with our luggage! The drive was fairly uneventful, I slept most of the way. However, it was raining, and continued to rain for the rest of the day, and into the evening.
We took the ferry over to Miyajima (1 of Japan’s top 3 views) – it was so windy, but worth staying outside to see the view across the shrine. Once we landed, the first thing I noticed were the deer – with their antlers shorn for safety. They just wander amongst people, looking for food really.
We walked through the shrine. Even in the horrible misty rain the bright orange still stood out! We even managed to watch a bride and groom having some photos taken in traditional Shinto wedding costumes. On the other side we went up into a hall, where some kids were playing taiko and singing and dancing, in honour of the girls festival (which I thought was only a one day event in March, so clearly I was wrong).
After the performance, and lunch, we headed back to the mainland on the ferry – this time sitting inside, and drove the 40 minutes or so to Hiroshima. Once there we had to find a car park, near the peace park. The car parks in Hiroshima are funny – they lock your car into place until you have paid, but to get into them it sounds as though you are about to break something underneath the car, which is just a little disconcerting.
It was still rainy so we spent some time in the Peace Museum, before a brief wander through the park, and down the shopping arcade. Then we went to the station, and met one of Kiyoko’s friends for okonomiyaki before getting in a taxi to go to our hostel.