Renting out a cabin for an overnight stay in Miyajima proved to be quite the inspiration. This is what you get when a group of friends, all writers, decide to go on a cross country road trip: a lot of D&D, novel idea bouncing, and great life choices that involve last minute bookings to holy islands.
My first time on Miyajima was three years ago as a young and uncultured university student. The program at Waseda wasn’t just an academic experience, it also gave me a healthy dose of real life experience. Now as a shakaijin (working adult) and freshly licensed driver, I find myself revisiting my favorite places with fresh eyes.
Miyajima and its floating shrine are a world heritage site, fully accessible by ferry that can take people and cars across at 15 minute intervals. The place was crawling with foreigners of every nationality just about year round: Americans, Europeans, Middle-Easterners, south East Asians… You name it and chances are a person of that country or nationality was represented on te island that day.
What makes Miyajima particularly inspiring? So inspiring g that one would be willing to shell out a man in yen for a single night? Despite being close to the mainland, despite the heavy tourism… You still have parts of the island that are far enough away from it all that it feels as if you actually have escaped from reality. You can almost imagine kappa inhabiting its rivers and ponds or forest spirits hiding amongst mossy, vine covered trees.
Hiroshima by comparison cannot escape the scars of history. For ¥50, admission to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum will recreate the day of August 6, 1945 and the subsequent decades.
Kim had never been to th museum before and unfortunately we had the bad luck to arrive at a time when a large group decided to visit. I say bad luck because I have never before been so absolutely revolted by humanity and for once it wasn’t a giant group of Americans but Europeans who should have been old enough to realize that cracking war jokes about firing at will and loudly boasting about how much booze they had consumed the night before (or how much more they were about to consume that same night) was not appropriate behavior.
It’s unfortunate that apart from the clear lack of respect for the deceased and the victims of war, they also blocked the majority of exhibits while talking about the least relevant subjects.
In any case, we left Nagoya a couple hours ago and are no headed to Tokyo.
Wish us luck ;D