So, right next to Hiroshima is they very well known island of Miyajima, or rather Itsukushima.
You might never have heard of Miyajima or Itsukushima before, but I am sure you have at least seen pictures of the famous Tori gate for which it is known, which floats in the water right off its shores.
While the pictures are, of course, amazing, nothing lives up to this gate up close and personal.
When we visited, it was low tide, so we didn't actually get to see the gate floating in the water. I think what we got was better, though, in that we got to walk right up to it.
With the bright orangeish red color of the gate combined with the beautiful blue sky with the perfectly white and fluffy clouds, the image was breathtaking.
Even if the part that is often covered with water was, um, cute.
Little shellfish things lived all over it. :-)
At the temple by the Tori gate, there were also some really cool things. It was cool to get to watch the crabs crawling all over the place where normally there is water, and to check out the bridge that seemed to be over nothing because of the low tide.
And of course, no Japanese temple would be complete without the notorious sake barrels.
While the island is known for this Tori gate, there are also quite a few other amazing things to see.
We hiked through and ate lunch in a beautiful park, that would have been peaceful if it weren't for the deer that were even more annoying than the Nara deer. They tried to steal our food, and when we didn't want to give it to them, they tried to attack us with their antlers.
Then we hiked up to this really cool temple. My favorite part of the island, I think, was the hundreds of mini statues leading up to the temple.
Seriously, they were SO cool. And there were really hundreds of them - they seemed to go on forever and ever.
What made them particularly awesome was that each and every one of them, though they looked the same from afar, was extraordinarily different. There were fat ones and emaciated ones and serious ones and ones making funny faces and. . .
This was my favorite one, holding a dragon!
Sorry, just one more picture so that you can really get the feeling of how they were EVERYWHERE!
Okay, enough pictures of the little statues. There were also some other super cool statues at this temple.
Like this one of some weird Japanese Pinnochioesque man.
And of course, not to be forgotten, An Pan man. An Pan is basically this pancake like bread filled with red bean paste, and this little dude's head is supposed to be An Pan. He is the face of An Pan!
The gardens at the temple were also beautiful!
As was the amazing view out over the island!
On our way down, we stopped at the five story pagoda.
They must really love these things in Japan, as they seem to be everywhere I look!