Friday, March 20, 2015

Miyajima and Itsukushima

Stairs, deer, and shrines in the water.  Oddly enough this describes most of Japan, but in this case we were at Miyajima (a.k.a. "that big orange gate in the middle-of-the-bay somewhere in Japan that is in some movies").


See, orange and in the water - you knew what it was already

Besides this awesome temple on the island, there are deer.  If you travel with my wife, tame deer are an amazing opportunity to do something no one should do with wild animals - pet them.  She is of the mind-set that every zoo should be a petting zoo, and all animals want to be patted lovingly on their fuzzy heads.  Or, if there is a lack of fuzz, scales - or whatever the animal is made of.  

That face says pet me and I will kill you

The animals put up with it, probably because they get to nab food from people when they are not looking.  It does make for some great photo opportunities, but damn do they like to follow you around.  We started giving them names and associating personalities with them.  While they look cute and happy in nature, after this trip I am going to just come out and say it.  Deer are evil creatures.  More on that in a few blog posts though.  Nara... I won't forgive you...

The other thing Japan loves is stairs.  Lots and lots of stairs.  See that cool building?

Something historical and impressive

Yeah, you need to have a black-belt in stair-stepper to get to it. 

Maybe a second degree black-belt

The amazing thing about this trip is we gained weight!  I had a pedometer going the entire trip.  We averaged 13 miles a day of walking.  We still gained weight.  Guess we needed to take more stairs?

The trip out to Miyajima was amazing, the boat ride was like going across San Fransisco bay, the oysters and eel were to die for, and we saw more beautiful scenery than we could handle.  If you like deer with secret evil plots, stairs, old buildings, great food, orange shrines in water, tolling bells, more stairs, and a general small town feel - Miyajima is the place for you.

A deer-free main street.  The way it should be!