We Go Our Separate Ways – Temporarily

3/6/16. Having had such a good day yesterday hitting the high points of Hiroshima, we reasoned that to go back would risk disappointment. So we decided to each do our own thing for the day. It would, after all, be the first time “apart” since we were on the cruise more than a month ago.

Stephen’s choice was obvious – a bike ride! There were two islands (Etajima and Kurahashijima) to the south west of Kure connected by bridges plus a ferry ride back to the mainland close to the town and a circuit of them made a ride of almost 100 km – just right for a day ride without luggage! The weather was glorious, traffic light to non-existent for most of the way and the scenery fabulous. The only sight of note, other than the general loveliness of the views, was the oyster farms around much of the coast. So here is a selection of photos to browse through.

Christine, on the other hand, chose a train ride to the other side of Hiroshima and a ferry ride to the island of Miyajima, a World Heritage site and one of Japan’s most visited tourist spots. Its star attraction is the oft-photographed vermilion torii (shrine gate) of Itsukushima-jinja, which seems to float on the waves at high tide – a scene that has traditionally been ranked as one of the three best views in Japan. Unfortunately when Christine was there the tide was out so it looked rather less wonderful!

It was also comparatively easy to escape most of the hordes of tourists by walking a few hundred metres uphill to a rather wonderful temple. The temple had a number of different buildings and most helpfully a pamphlet in English, which is rarer than hen’s teeth. There was a cave with a stone monument representing each of the 88 temples of the Shikoku pilgrim route. We have noticed at the temples a number of stone statues of Buddha wearing red bibs. From the pamphlet we discovered that this means the statue has been adopted and looked after by a couple whose own child has died.

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