Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Japan  ,
Monday, September 12, 2005

Decided that seeing as it was the election today it would be best to do very little. So we woke up late and moved all our stuff over to the Aster Plaza again. Couldn't check in till 3pm but the kindly agreed to look after our bags until then.

After yesterdays extravagance we needed to save some money so walked the mile or 2 to Nishi-Hiroshima station where we could catch the train to Miyajima-guchi, the jumping off point for Miyajima island.

Got the ferry over to Miyajima, which took about 10 minutes and due to our railpass was free! When we arrived the first thing we spotted were the deer walking around everywhere. Took a few photos and headed off to see the o-totii. This is basically a big red gate sticking out of the sea, and one of the most recognized structures in Japan.

After a few obligitary photos we headed off to see the Itsukushima-jinja shrine. Bit disappointing really as it was nothing special and the improvements being made to it make it seem too modern, and just another viewing platform for the o-torii. I commented that it was like Brighton Pier without the amusements and more tourists.

Had a quick look at another pagoda before heading back to the mainland. The water around the dock was disgusting and filled with debris, with a crane constantly fishing it out. I later realized this was storm damage from the typhoon a few days previous.

Headed straight for the Internet Cafe for another hour of doing nothing before heading back to my single room palace for the night. Went to grab a couple of Kirin beers from the vending machine in the lobby and got chatting to an American guy who is visiting Japan with his wife, who had worked in Japan for 3 years.

Went back to the Okonomiyaki place for dinner again. We were the only people there when we arrived but after about 15 minutes our presence brought in 3 French people, 5 Japanese girls and an English guy. Sadly no conversation with the Japanese girls but the English guy came over for a chat and it turned out he was staying at the same hotel. He was a very posh boy called Humphrey from Oxford. He kept mentioning his boat in the Bahamas but was otherwise and nice guy. We told him about the street of women from the other night and was keen to see it. He was pretty impressed even though it was a lot quieter than the other night. They actually had to approach us this time and not pretend we were invisible.

Back at the hotel I had seen that they had a sake vending machine so thought I would have to try it. Smelled like vodka, tasted worse and promptly went in the bin. Retired to my room and made full use of the bath as I never know when I will see a quality en-suite again!
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