Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday, Apr 12th, Miyajima Island, Japan


Today, after sending our luggage to Hiroshima where we will reunite with it in two days, we walked about a kilometer from the hotel to the Ishite-ji Temple.  Known in particular for the Niomon Gate, it is number 51 on the list of eighty-eight temples on the Kaiku Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail.

Our own pilgrimage participation so far consists of getting temple staff to add beautiful caligraphy to the blank pages in temple books we bought at the beginning of the trip.  The art is beautiful, and when unfolded, it's going to make a great wall-hanging.

After lunch, we caught a bus to a hydrofoil ferry across the strait to another slower boat to Miyajima Island (Istukushima).  We'll be staying on the island for the next two days, and then crossing to Hiroshima.

The island is famous for the 6th century Istukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The Japanese government has declared several of the buildings national treasures.  The island, and the waters around it, are part of the Setonaikai National Park. 

On our way from the ferry to our hotel, we walked along the boardwalk past the Temple's torii gate out in the bay.  At low tide, you can walk out to it, and the coast was lined with photographers waiting for high tide to capture a sunset shot of it floating in the water.

Dinner isn't normally the highlight of the day, and it would be hard to compete today with the Ishite-Jin Temple.  But our hotel dinner tonight had to be one of the most memorable of our trip.  Here is the menu:  Local Organic Salad: served with tomato cheese dripping, dried baby sardine and miso dressing.  Japanese Hors d'oeuvvre: Jellied red sea bream roe, bamboo shoot with Japanese pepper miso, boiled octopus, roasted yam with ume flavor, salt-pickled red sea bream with cream cheese, bite-sized sea eel sushi, fried icefish, shrimp dumpling fried with broad bean, wild vegetable shoot rolled with prosciutto, ark shell and canola flower marinated with mustard, bracken marinated with tofu, broth-soaked butterbur.

Clear Soup with Clam-dumpling: Hamaguri clam, starchy egg cake, kogomi plant shoot.  Local Premium Sashimi: squid, red sea bream, cutlass fish, amberjack, blended soy sauce, citrus flavored soy sauce.  Spanish Mackerel and Seasonal Vegetable Hot Pot: spanish mackerel, seasonal vegetables, ginger, Japanese pepper.

Local Hiroshima Beef Steak: Taoshita beef, garnish vegetables, Hiroshima lemon, wasabi soy sauce, rock salt, oyster sauce.

Sake Steamed Oyster: oyster, Hiroshima lemon.

Oyster Kettle Rice: oyster, burdock, fried rice.

Barley Miso Soup: barley, wheat gluten, Nameko mushroom.  Pickled Vegetables: Japanese radish, Hiroshima mustard, pickled with Japanese red basil.  and Desert.  Served with a flight of three sake selections.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Thursday, Apr 12th, Miyajima Island, Japan

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