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Life in Auckland

日曜日, 8月 08, 2004

torii and river

A couple of days ago we went out to Miajima, a sacred island to check out a really cool shrine there. Then that night we went to Iwakuni in Yamaguchi to visit a festival and watch the fireworks. It was an amazing time and packed in some of southern part of Japan's sights into a really amazing day. Mamiko has taking such great care of me the past week that I worry that I must be wearing on her nerves by now. She's still as kind and happy as before though, I'll just plan on taking advantage of her stewardship for the next few days and that hope to pay her back in kind one day in the states.

Miajima, which is a sacred island in Shinto is full of these beautiful red deer. They incredibly tame as long as the don't smell the little food-nut-beens that they give out in the dispensors. They also remind me quite a bit of that one deer on Princess Mononoke, but I fear saying so makes me a dork.
On the island of Miajima this is the famous floating torii, the gate into the shrine. From what I gather in my broken Japanese and Mamiko's friendly interpretation, Miajima was considered so sacred ground that commoners were not aloud to set foot on. This is no more, but those wishing to pray at the shrine (which itself is like a dock, would enter through this torii and never set foot onto actual land.
Another photo of the torii looking all picturesque. I gathered that most of the time people see the torii at low tide, surounded by mud. Sucks to be them because my pictures totally rock and there's probably look kinda dumb.
At the shinto shrine a wedding was taking place while we were there, another rare treat. I took this picture only to, seconds later, translate the sign behind me and realize that I'm explicitely not to take photos of this sacred room. I'm sure this happy couple appreciates my using there sacred moment of unification as tourist street cred.
Iwakuni is famous for this amazing five span bridge. It dwarfs the river, on this day beneath the bridge and behind me, out of the photo, is a huge fair filled with booths serving food and beer.
A night picture of Iwakuni's river I took on a tripod. On top of the mountain is a castle and that ghostly blurry thing near the river is a woman in a kimono.
The fair beyond the five bridges, a hectic place full of greesy food, weak beer, yankee punks and women in kimonos.
The fireworks that night before the long bus and train rides back to Hiroshima.

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