At some point overnight the continuous rainfall finally came to an end and after I woke up the next morning and took a look outside I was again reminded of that old travel proverb about the weather always improving when you’re about to leave a place. The skies were still gray and there would be brief periods of rain that morning but it was definitely an improvement over the previous day. I had a couple hours before I needed to get on the ferry back to the mainland so once I had loaded up my backpack I left it at my guesthouse and set off for one last walk around Miyajima. On my way to Itsukushima Shrine I passed by some of the smaller shrines along the road.
Itsukushima Shrine was still fairly wet but with the rain gone there were now more tourists visiting the shrine than there had been yesterday. The water had retreated back from the shrine buildings, though the torii gate would need more time before it was accessible on foot.
The town on Miyajima was back to its normal levels of business now that the rain was gone and down the beach at the ferry terminal I could see lots of people disembarking from the latest ferry to arrive from the mainland. Business was humming along at the main shopping area and along with the regular tourists there were also several school groups visiting that day. I’d come back to this spot before leaving Miyajima to buy some more of the maple leaf pastries that are sold here.
I then hiked up to Senjokaku Hall and then onwards to the overlook point I had discovered on the previous day. Miyajima is a scenic place and I’d love to one day to visit when the skies are clearer. As I was leaving the overlook and returning to the road I ran into a French family that were also hiking around the island. I don’t speak French but I was able to show them the spot I had been at so that they could get photos of the island themselves.
Back down at Itsukushima Shrine the water was continuing to recede though it would be another hour or two before the lowest point of low tide. More people were venturing down onto the beach and it looked like some of the people performing the restoration on the torii gate were showing up to start their work again. Whenever I’m next able to return to Miyajima I really need to resolve to get up early and enter the shrine when it opens at around 7:00am so that I can walk through it at high tide.
With my last few minutes of spare time I hiked partway up the trail that leads to the Mt Misen ropeway. When I was first mapping out my journey across Japan I had planned on climbing Mt Misen during my full day on Miyajima but the rain had thrown a giant wrench into my schedule. If I had another two hours before I needed to leave the island I might have made a run for the summit but my time on Miyajima was now almost over. I had a long day of travel ahead of me so I turned back and returned to my guesthouse to grab my backpack.