Miyajima today. Its been raining heavily all night, but there are patches of blue sky as we leave the WFC, so we were hoping that we might get lucky with the weather. First on the agenda was breakfast at the WFC. Yanky style coffee, fruit, cereal, toast, yoghurt and juice. Quite a good spread. Our hosts may be American and they may be wannabe hippies, but we couldn't fault their hospitality. Also at the table with us was the British guy who had to sleep on the floor of the very dining room we were eating in, because they had double booked (probably because we had taken 2 rooms), and some guy from Finland, which a name I couldn't pronounce, and cannot remember. Nice enough guy though. Temperatures above freezing were a bit of a change for him. So we set off. Tram, then train, and then finally boarded the ferry at Hiroshima port bound for Miyajima. On the boat ride over, the island looked every bit as beautiful as all of the tourist brochures said it would. The ferry went straight across the harbour then turned 90 degrees to pass the tori gates in front of Itsukushima shrine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itsukushi ma_Shrine), which I'm sure was for the benefit of the tourists. Onto the ferry terminal to disembark without any issues. Immediately when we exited the ferry terminal onto the island we were accosted by several dear, obviously looking for food. At first the dear were a novelty. After about the 50th dear they start to become annoying obstacles. Angela was originally captivated by them, but she too got sick of them to the point of being half scared and half aggressive towards them, as one poor dear found out later in the day when she punched it in the face. First time I've ever seen a dear look surprised. Wasn't a bad punch either. We made our way through the very pretty little township, and around past Itsukushima shrine which was already crawling with tourists, and up the hill towards the ropeway, with the logic that we would climb the mountain before it got too hot and muggy. Wishful thinking. We got a shuttle bus for a scary 4 minute ride up a twisty mountain pass,with a bus driver who was evidently bitter that his rally driving career didn't work out. Bridges with no barriers barely wider than the bus on blind corners with 25m drops on one side were not enough to phase our wannabe Colin Mcrae, but we eventually got there in one piece. Onto the cable-car, for what has to be one of the most picturesque views of my life. I'm sure the photos will not do it justice. For the first half of the journey we were in a small cable car with only 4 of us, and we changed cable-cars halfway up the mountain and joined a group car for the remaining journey. When we got to the top the 360 degree view from Hiroshima and across the other islands out to sea was amazing. Evidently it had started to rain down at sea level, but we were up too high. No wind, and very hot, but not a lot of humidity. The cable car was still about 1km short of the summit of Mount Misen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Mis en_(Miyajima)), so while Veronica stayed with the girls I continued up the narrow and at times scary walking trail to the top. I wasn't going all the way up there without going all the way to the top. Because Veronica was minding both girls, I decided that I had to be quick, so decided to run. Stupid idea. Never before have I sweated so much, or felt so tired, but I eventually made it to the summit and it was worth it. Only then did it occur to me that I had left the money with Veronica, and they had drink stalls at the top. Fantastic. At the peak of the mountain there was a mini temple, and a shrine containing an eternal flame which is said to have been burning constantly for the past 1200 years, This flame was also used as the source to light the eternal flame of peace in the Hiroshima peace park. The run back was much easier. All in all I ran up there, spend 5 minutes taking photos, and ran back in less than half an hour. One big disappointment for me was that it was too hot for the wild monkeys to be out, so we didnt see any while at the top of the mountain. We spent the rest of the day exploring the other sights of Miyajima, such as Itsukushima shrine, the 5 storied pagoda, the other pretty little temples, canals and villages, but nothing really compared to the view from Mt Misen. Wont be forgetting it in a hurry, but I guess that is why it is world heritage listed. Thoroughly exhausted, about 6 hours after we arrived we boarded the ferry back to Hiroshima port. We did not even scratch the surface of all of the things to do on Miyajima, but an excellent day none the less. A train and tram ride home, both of which seemed to take forever, before all collapsing into bed, and all going to sleep at 7:30. The girls had 2 minute noodles from the 7/11, and we were too tired to even bother eating, which was a shame because I never did get to try the little tempura shop down the road from the world friendship centre. I was looking forward to Tempura prawns.