September 29, 2012

Mt. Misen and eating in Miyajima town

In Miyajima, they have a small mountain called "Misen(弥山)", which is also included in the area designated as a UNESCO World Heritage cause there are endemic species found only in the primary forest. The height is 535m and we can go to that of 450m by using two ropeways. Even so...reaching the top of Misen was not so easy for me. Though we can walk on the rout of the climb, road is up and down with many rocks. Moreover, I am afraid of heights...
A small beautiful river near the ropeway station
Ropeway ...I'm afraid of heights.
Mt. Misen from the ropeway terminal station at 450m
Mt. Misen consists of rocks.
Narrow step among rocks 
Reikado (spiritual fire) temple 
Permanent fire and sacred hot water in the Reilkado temple 
The top of Mt. Misen
The view of Seto Inland Sea from the top 
Even so, I was so satisfied with the sense of accomplishment after reaching the top. The view from the top was very nice. Calm Seto Inland Sea was also beautiful. In Mt. Misen, there are also several temples and a shrine. The most popular ones among them are Misen-hondo (弥山本堂)temple and Reika-do (霊火堂) temple just near the top. 

The both of them were established at the beginning of 9th century by Kukai (空海), a great Buddhist monk, and it is believed the fire Kukai used has been continually there since 1200 years ago. If we drink sacred water boiled by the permanent fire, we will allegedly not be ill. Definitely I drunk. He can who believes he can! 

After climbing Mt. Misen, we went down to the Miyajima town where many shops and restaurants are located. Many sold grilled oysters outside the front of shops (oyster is one of the specialty in Miyajima). It was good (with beer)!
Shops and restaurants in Miyajima town
Many customers on the street 
Storefront grilled oysters bar 
Grilled oysters at JPY400
Then, we went to "Kakiya (牡蠣屋)" whose meaning is "the oyster restaurant" to taste oyster dishes. Kakiya is a modern and stylish oyster restaurant with variety of oyster menus and alcohol that suits oysters well. Particularly, fried premier oysters were super(with dry white wine, Chablis)!! Tough it costed JPY1,500 for only three pieces, value for money. I haven't taken such a big but tasty fried oyster before.

The quality of taste and service are high. Inside was silent and we could be relaxed. Kakiya is recommendable if you like oysters. My rating is 3.7 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! Kakiya (牡蠣屋)
Exterior of Kakiya 
Inside of Kakiya
Fried premier oysters 
Oyster rice with miso soup 
Oyster gratin 
After eating, we needed some dessert. Just next to Kakiya, I found a fried pastry shop named "Kouyo-do(紅葉堂)." They sold fried "Momiji-manjyu", a popular sweet making of flour, egg, honey (for outside) and bean jam or cream, etc. (inside). They fried one by one after customers ordered. So, we can eat just-made manjyu! Delicious! One piece is only JPY150. If you find it, please try it. 
Outside of Kouyo-do
Fried momiji manjyu
Sleepy gods' messenger....lovely:)
As you can see, Miyajima is a wonderful island with many things to see, feel and eat! I need to continue coming to this sacred island from time to time. 

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