“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
― William Shakespeare
Hiroshima is incredibly stunning at its peak of the cherry blossom season. I started the day off with a sakuri (cherry blossom) icecream before hopping on a ferry for a 50 minute journey to Miyajima on an Island called Itsukushima where you can find the iconic shrine first erected in the 6th Century. It’s been destroyed numerous times though so the current shrine dates back to the mid-16th Century.
It was designed to appear to be floating on the water near the sacred island were holy men could pay their homage to the gods. The island was therefore dotted with shrines and temples including a five tier high pagoda. As a tourist destination the shores were also well supplied with food stalls where I tried out a Japanese green rice cake kebab! Very odd texture but otherwise perfectly edible! Later on this was followed by my first matcha green tea ice cream. Delicious.
The area around Miyajima and the island itself was just breathtaking. It’s covered in wild deer which have grown to be incredibly tame as they head towards the inhabited areas to eat the cherry blossoms in spring. The clouds of fluffy pink blossom had just reached their peak so had begun to shed their pink snow drops over the people picnicking beneath them. Towards dusk, notably in the Hiroshima peace park, the sparrows start to nestle in amongst the blossom knocking off petals to add to the beautiful scene.
Our final trip of the day was to Hiroshima castle, surrounded by a moat and yet more intricate pink-dotted gardens. On the way back we stopped for another sushi-go-round dinner which was yet again faultless.
I’m still blown away by how kind and polite the people are here it’s truly incredible and makes such a difference.