After a 15 minute ferry trip and checking-in in a Ryokan (a Japanese guesthouse), we immediately had to see the main attraction of the wonderful island of Miyajima: The O'torii in the water with the Japanese mainland (even though it's actually an island) and a wonderful pink sunset in the background. The torii is the regular entrance component of every Japanese Shinto temple, and here is one of the few places where it has been built in the (shallow) sea because the shrine used to cater to fishermen. All along the boardwalk on the left and right side from the shrine, hundreds of lanterns decorate the island and support the romance.
|The O' torii on Miyajima Island|
Our first Ryokan experience was quite special. You basically are provided with one big room (in this case for four persons) which serves as a living room during the day and as a bedroom at night. How it works? You sleep on futon beds that are rolled out in the evening and rolled together again (and stored in a shelve) in the morning. Of course, the removable day furniture is no European furniture, but a very low table and sitting pillows. You basically spend the day like the night - on the floor, i.e. on Tatami mats made from rice straw (and smelling like that). Luckily, we only booked Ryokans with private bathrooms (although they are really tiny). Of course, every decent Ryokan provides its guests with a shared (well, one for men and one for women) hot bath in the basement. We did not try that very Japanese experience here in Miyajima, but will try it later.
|Room setup for the day, futon beds in the background|