The official name of the trip is Hiroshima Trip. But actually, we spend most of our time on Miyajima Island (aka Istukushima), so they should be calling it Miyajima and Hiroshima trip to make it sound fantastic.
Our trip is from Sunday to Monday. Monday was a public holiday called Umi-no-hi, meaning Sea Day. And the only reason it’s a public holiday is because there are no public holiday during June and July so they made up a public holiday on Monday so people can have a long weekend. That’s nice
We gathered at school at around 8:20am. So I had to be awake before 6:30am for preparation. I took two bags for the trip, one for clothes and the other for misc stuff.
Our bus left at 8:45am and we got to the tip of Kyushu. A rest stop and some photo taking. The bridge connects Kyushu (island) to Honshu (main island)
Then off we went again. The only things to do on the bus is chat, day dream and take pictures of other people sleeping.
After all that bus riding, we arrived at lunch stop. Our lunch was oshizushi. It’s not the ordinary rolled up in seaweed type that you think of when someone says SUSHI. It’s different layered sushi that is pressed.
I also liked the ika somen– raw squid that is cut to look like noodles. yummy
Fish bee hoon
I was sitting at an all girls’ table. All sorts of weird conversations happened. Interesting stuff that can only be discussed in all girls place.
After lunch, we went to a bridge. Not a normal bridge but a bridge made from wood and was made some long long years before.
What I liked wasn’t the bridge itself, but the scenery around it.
And the river under the bridge was very very cooling.
The weather was very very hot so I had my hat and cardigan on.
I tried crossing the river but it had slippery rocks and the current was strong, despite the water being only slightly above the ankles.
Then it was bus riding again. We reached the ferry terminal to Miyajima around 3pm. The ferry wasn’t too big and only had two stories. The ride was less than 15 minutes.
At the island, there were deers. The first that we saw was stinky. Eeee.
The hotel had buses to fetch us to the hotel. It was on a hill. At the hotel, we were welcomed by women dressed in kimono. Wow! First time seeing real ryokan (Japanese inn) with kimono-wearing employee. I’ve only read it in comics. >w< happy!
Oh, Miyajima is actually Istukushima. It has a HUGE torii (red gates leading to shrine) that is built in the sea. Miya means shrine in Japanese, so they call the place “Shrine Island”.
We put our stuff in the lobby and off we went sightseeing. There were deers all over the place and they were very tame.
At the shrine, I was very anxious to see the miko. Miko are female employees of the shrine. They wear a long red skirt and long sleeved white traditional upper wear (what do you call upperwear anyway?) The most famous miko I know is Kikyo from Inuyasha.
I didn’t see a miko up close but saw plenty of male employees wearing light green trousers. Where have all the miok gone? Turns out they were hiding behind counters selling souvenirs. I don’t know if it’s because they’re attractions themselves and would attract people to buy stuff home. Or because everyone wants a photo of them and it causes a hassle for them to be outside.
Photos of the shrine
When we were there, the tide was low and we could walk to the torii. The beach was covered with green cabbage like plants. It’s light green seaweed and I find it very weird.
History was touched by me
I went with HY to visit the Thousand Tatami place. It was closed when we were there so we took some photos of the exterior and of the Five Storey Pagoda.
Then we went back to the hotel. We got the keys to our rooms. There’s six to seven people in one room. The room has two bed and a huge tatami room that can fit lots of futon. Cool.
As it’s a hot spring ryokan (onsen ryokan). They provide yukatas for their guests.
Onsen bathing is a shy affair for us non-onsen frequetners. The hotel provided everything we needed in the onsen place. There was a huge counter with facial soap, toner, lotion, disposable combs (?!), shower caps, towels, lockers, and water.
The school gave us a list of how to bath in onsen steps. (If I remember correctly) First get naked. Ha ha, it’s the hardest part of all. But once you’ve passed it, there’s no turning back.
In the onsen room, there are stools and shower heads. THen shampoo, conditioner, facial wash. You clean yourself before going in the onsen.
I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. I was waiting for the two aunties who were cleaning before I came in to finish. I didn’t want to seem like a dirty foreigner who cannot appreciate onsen. But in the end, I had to go before them coz I really don’t know what was taking them so long to get clean.
The onsen water was very very warm. I had to shout about, “Hot Hot hot.” before I finally could sit inside the water till only my head’s out.
We weren’t in the onsen for long coz we were having dinner at 7pm. With our skin smooth and red, we went to dinner. I in yukata! weee
It was in a tatami hall and each had a set in front. It looked like a tiny portion but the food kept coming in and in until you feel like you can’t take it.
Oyster in cheese
chawan mushi – steamed egg
Oneesan who served us. In kimono!
When dinner finished, I wanted to go to the onsen again. But horrors! I realised in the loo that my peiod was back! What! It came during the first week and it’s back again???!!! Oh noooooo! I had to give up onsen. *SOB*
But at least there was one activity at night that didn’t involve getting wet. The torii was lighted while we were there. I suspect it’s a daily (maybe except winter) event.
Everyone wore their yukata for a stroll to see the lighted torii. Afterwards was a stroll, during which we discovered the deers would eat everything– even towels and yukata sleeves.
After the stroll, others went to the onsen while I went back to the room and try to sleep in the futon in my yukata.
I don’t think yukata is meant to be slept in. The knot of the belt is too hard to sleep on. The clothes tickle. And in the end I changed into my t-shirt and shorts.