Destination: Miyajima and Daisho-in Temple (Part 2)

Miyajima is pretty big for a little island, and there is a lot to see when you visit. Most of this post will focus on the beautiful Daisho-in Temple.
 When you arrive, you are greeted by two old guards. Here's Lefty.
 And this is Righty. They both look pretty tough even in their rusty current state.
 Passing through the temple gates, you see this - a climb up a staircase with a nice ornate handrail.
 Finally, you start seeing buildings. There are many of them.
Here's another view of the handrail on the stairs.
 Some of the buildings are treasure halls.
 There are a lot of treasures in one building.
 Here's the other side.
 Little shrines are set up inside the temple.
 Here is a theme you'll see throughout the post - large groups of statues.
 Here is one of the worship halls with the donation coin box in the front.
 One room holds around a thousand of these little statues.
 Here's a closeup.
 Here's a little idol in the middle.
 Another treasure room?
 More idols.
 More idols and a reclining statue.
 More steps, with something important on the sides.
 I think this is the main hall. You can walk into the building - just take off your shoes!
 Inside, there are thousands more idols.
 Upstairs is another worship room with some nice wood carving above.
 The view from that second floor room back down the temple.
 Offerings of fruit to the Gods.
 An outdoor worship spot.
 More fruit for the Gods.
 Just in case the idols get cold, someone was kind enough to leave a scarf. These sort of interesting offerings are pretty common in my travels around Japan.
 This room was beautiful - hundreds of idols in a room that looks like it's lit by candles (though they were electric lights).
 Continuing along - this temple is huge and has thousands of statues.
 A small pagoda.
 Inside the pagoda. That concluded my tour of Daisho-in, so I headed back down to the water.
 But wait, where's the water? When the tide goes out, the shrine is on (somewhat) dry land. So is the famous torii gate. No picture now of the gate. Visitors can walk out and look at the torii up close at low tide.
 I'm not sure what this is, but I believe it's one of the old torii gate posts.
 After all that walking, I was really hungry. One of the snacks I picked up was this grilled corn. It was quite tasty!
 The deer was hungry too, so he chewed on some random pamphlet. I was walking back to catch the ferry when I spotted this little guy munching on paper. But I found something better to eat after that ear of corn.
This is momiji manju. It has been skewered with a stick, battered, and deep fried. And it is delicious! You can't find it anywhere else but on Miyajima, and it's freshly made in only a few of the stores. Be sure to ask around and give it a try. And of course, bring home some packaged momiji manju as gifts.

Miyajima is easily reached by train from Hiroshima Station - you can arrive via tram or train (which is much faster), and then take the very short walk to the ferry. If you arrive in the morning, just follow the crowds. Get a good spot on the right side of the ferry, because you get a good opportunity for photos as you approach the island. Admission is charged to ride the ferry and to enter the Itsukushima Shrine grounds. Plan on spending an entire day there - and get there early - if you intend on seeing Daisho-in Temple and Itsukushima, and hiking up Mount Misen. And remember to check the tide times so you can see the torii at high tide and walk out at low tide.

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