Wednesday, February 6, 2008


You're probably wondering how I'm finding the time to send emails. Well, I force Zach off of the computer and make him do his homework. That leaves me time to download photos and write emails. Right now (Wed. 7:40 pm) he's working on his math, so I'll tell you about our morning trip to the island of Miyajima, which is designated a national heritage site and is considered to be one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. I had been here in the summertime with Frankie years ago, but I didn't really remember much, so it was fun coming back. We took the train for 25 minutes to the place where we caught the ferry over to the island. The first photo shows a typical sign you'd find on the trains. The Japanese are very good about reminding you to be "considerate" to your fellow passengers. The ferry (the big boat, not the little one) is operated by JR, so it was free for us. (Well, we did pay for it in our costly rail passes). This island, like Nara near Kyoto, has a lot of friendly deer roaming about. All they really want is food. The main shrine, Itsukushima, is partially built over water and has a giant torii rising out of the see. You might have seen photos of this before. It's one of the most photographed spots in Japan. Anyway, there was something going on again at the shrine. Maybe a wedding, but this time the bride wasn't wearing a white kimono. She was the main attraction, though, which allowed us to walk around the shrine without having to share it with others. Then I've included a shot of a typical menu display in a restaurant window. That actually comes in handy for those who don't speak Japanese. You just drag the waitress outside and point at what you want! Anyway, Miyajima is a beautiful island that would definitely be worth exploring for several days, although in warmer weather. 

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