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April 30th 2008
Published: June 16th 2008
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Itsukushima, or popularly known as Miyajima (shrine island) is home to Itsukushima Shrine a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The shrine is built on boardwalks and during high tide appears to be floating on water. The giant red torii (gate) with Mt.Misen in the background is considered to be one of the three best views in Japan. Besides stunning views and a beautiful temple, Miyajima hosts a population of tame deer and wild monkeys and has a long ropeway up the mountain. After some souvenir browsing, oyster sampling and typical tourist shoots with the torii we decided to climb up Mt. Misen. The climb takes a little over 90 minutes and winds up the mountain through almost virgin forests along side a mountain stream. Leaving the tourist town and traveling up the steep steps and paths was like entering an entirely different universe. After a grueling hike and many moments of doubt we reached the top. At 529.8 meters above sea level the sites were amazing and we enjoyed the elation of our success. However, despite how wonderful we felt after achieving our goal we chose to take the ropeway back down instead of maneuvering down the steep trails. I was surprised how long it took to take the ropeway down and how long the ropeway was. It gave me a deeper satisfaction in and appreciation for my climb to the summit. After the hike we wandered around the island some more. I indulged in some more oysters and momiji manju ice cream then caught a ferry back to the mainland.

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but there was still time for ice cream.but there was still time for ice cream.
but there was still time for ice cream.

Momiji manju ice cream is one of the best ice cream flavors ever!

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