Phew, what a day. We went to Miyajima today and it was fantastic; not only did we see the floating O-Torii Gate on the way in - one of the top three sights in Japan - but we also did a ton of other stuff.
First off, Miyajima is rampant with wild deer, which are actually quite tame and don't mind being stroked or having photos taken of them (as you'll soon see from our pictures!). There are numerous signs warning that the deer may eat paper or cloth, so we had to keep a keen eye on our maps and Rail passes!
We then walked through a temple complex, which was built on and near the sea, which was really nice - the colours, of the orange paintwork, the blue sea, and the green forests around it, made for a real sight.
We stopped for lunch - we both tried Tofu, which was sweet and so tasted strange in with the noodles and broth - and soon after decided to undertake the activity that would keep us occupied for most of the rest of the day; we decided to climb a mountain.
It was TOUGH - we accidentally set off on the hardest route, up through dense forests with no handrails, no real pathway, and steps that were pretty much no more than fallen rocks with a few extras added in. As such, the route was winding, steep, and incredibly long - but totally fulfilling! When we reached the summit the views were fantastic, and the sense of achievement made the entire climb worthwhile. We could see far-off islands, trees, seas and cities for miles. It's actually been one of my favourite things that we've done so far!
To get down we had to take a different route - one with steps laid out in a direct path to the foot of the mountain, little walkways to shorten the route and ease the difficulty, and little handrails to help you along - everyone that we saw coming up this path we secretly called pathetic wimps, since they clearly were taking the easy way out.
After that, we wandered through another temple complex, complete with pitch black underground tunnels and hundreds of statues. We then somehow took the longest route possible back to the ferry terminal, despite following all of the signs; for most of the journey we were sure we were being duped by the sign-placers, but no, we made it in the end :)
It was a brilliant day, though I'm glad to finally be on flat ground again!