Itsukushima Shrine near Hiroshima

Lost for Words on Miyajima

There’s a sense of occasion as we make our way towards Miyajima (shrine island) near Hiroshima. Crossing the Seto Inland Sea by ferry, serious photographers and selfie aficionados stake an early claim on the boat’s deck, anticipating the first view of the large torii gate which is as spectacular as every postcard you’ll ever see. This gate, which is lapped by water and seems to float at high tide, welcomes pilgrims to Itsukushima Shrine.

We give the Five Story Pagoda and the Shrine a few minutes of our time, but really, we’re only interested in a closer look at the gate, so we set out on the the foreshore, strolling with throngs of students through the little town with its Japanese staples (bicycles, vending machines, colourful noren), tourist traps (ice cream, emergency fashion, pricey restaurants), and enchanting deer.

Japanese students

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