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Miajima Shrine & Kuju Highlands daytrips

JAPAN | Sunday, 5 October 2008 | Views [1495]

Part of the Shrine. On low tide it is swamped by people out to get their photo taken

Part of the Shrine. On low tide it is swamped by people out to get their photo taken

Tacked on to the end of the Hiroshima trip we got a ferry across to the Miajima (I hope I spelt that right) Shrine. It's a very popular, and famous shrine in Japan because the gate is in the sea and the temple is built on platforms on sandflats that flood on high tide. We went through there with the hordes of tourists, nearly all Japanese, and dodged the hawkers and deer for an interesting afternoon to finish off the trip through the Hiroshima memorial.

The next weekend we ended up with another day off, and after consulting some bikers in Hitomi's bar in downtown Oita, we were advised that we should go and have a look at the Inazumi limetone cave and the suspension footbridge on the Kuju highlands.

Local knowledge didn't let us down either. We set out with the GPS just as confued as we were and wound our way through villages that forced us to pull the mirrors in to get down the lanes between houses and find a hole for the car coming the other way to pass. We saw signs to waterfalls and ruined castles and thought they looked like a good idea too. All in all we drove around all day and saw the sights of everyday Japanese life away from the neon of the cities.

We didn't get all that far from the vending machines though. They are everyhere! You can get nearly anything. Even the hotels check you in, then send you to a vending machine to pre pay for your room and activate the door card. Beer and TV tickets, fuel bowsers that play poker to give the opportunity to get a discount on your fuel, you name they've got it.

One of the most intersesting things in Japan has got to be the food though. I've sat down to 'live' squid, sashimi, sushi, tempura, drank sake ninja style, done the sushi train, eaten Korean barbeque, grated wasabi root on a shark skin grater, dined yakitori style .... and the list goes on. I had to go back to the phrasebook to get half of those names, but I know there are more that I can't remember as well. Very interesting eating over here.

Tags: bridge, eating, shrine, vending machine, waterfall

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