Travel Journal

Did you have your ferry today? (Japan)

(Thursday 22 November 2007) by Lynda
It`s easy to forget but Japan is a collection of islands so the best way to travel in Japan is by boat. Last week I`ve been exploring the Seto Inland Sea and I did it all by boat. The first island in the inland sea was Miyajima (-jima or -shima means island), one of the 3 top-sights in Japan because of it`s floating torii (a torii is an entrance gate to a temple). It`s not really floating but is build in the
5-storey pagoda at Miyajima
5-storey pagoda at Miyajima
sea as is the temple Itsukushima-Jinja because the island was considered too holy to build temples on. It`s a great sight especially at night and the wild deer that are walking around are adding to this very idyllic picture.

Next stop was Matsuyama on the island Shikoku (one of the 4 big islands of Japan) to see the old castle Matsuyama-Jo. From there I got a bus (yes, sometimes you have to make concessions) to Takamatsu and from there a ferry to Shodo-Shima. Shodo-Shima looks a bit like Greece and they are very serious about their olive trees. Everything on the island is named Olive and indeed my hostel was the Olive Youth Hostel. I spend one day exploring the gorge and it was great walking there, many monkey`s in the gorge and they are so cute.....except when they come running after you because they are very interested
Himeji-Jo
Himeji-Jo
if you brought them some food....no sorry I didn`t.

Next day I visited Nao-Shima the art island in the Seto Inland Sea but silly me, it was a Monday and of course museums are closed on Mondays, even in Japan. So I just walked around the island to see the art that was displayed out in the open. They even had a work of Karel Appel on display. Sometimes I`m very proud to be Dutch! I got the evening hydrofoil back to Shodo-Shima and got on another ferry the next morning to Honshu (another of the 4 big islands of Japan). I visited Himeji to see the number one castle in Japan (the Japanese like to rank everything) and so far I`ve seen 4 castles and this was indeed the most impressive.

It was a great experience to see Japan from the sea and all these small islands are wonderful are really worth visiting (just don`t go to Nao-Shima on Monday!!!!!)

I`ve arrived in Kyoto now so no more ferries, it`s now temple time!

  • Mmmm... by Rob B
  • Bedankt by Karin
  • Yoooo by Karel
    • Shopping?????? by Missie L


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