We were staying for one night on the island of Miyajima, a 10- minute ferry ride from Hiroshima.
Our Hiroshima 1-day streetcar and ferry pass, entitled us to a discount on the “Miyajima Ropeway”:http://miyajima-ropeway.info/en/miraculous-scenery/index.html. We’d already discovered earlier in our trip, that what the Japanese call a ropeway, we’d call a cable car.
First of all we had a pretty long, uphill, walk to the ticket office at Momijidani Station. A sign encouragingly said ‘Ticket office 10 minute walk, quicker if you run’. It should have said ’10 minute walk or 20 if you’re unfit or old’.
At 3.30pm in March, few people were around and the four of us had the eight seater cabin to ourselves. The 10-minute ride up Mount Misen took us to the half way station, Kayatani. After another short walk and yet more steps, we boarded a larger cable car which could accommodate 30 people standing.
Four minutes later we arrived at the Shishiiwa observatory at 433m. Unfortunately the day was overcast and it was difficult to see the various islands from the viewpoint. However we could see the actual summit and the Mt. Misen Observatory but it was impossible to see the path in all the greenery. Whilst it was said to be an hour’s walk, we suspected it was like the sign we’d seen earlier – optimistic.
We couldn” find the Fire of Oath statue and so couldn’t press the buttons on the left and right of the monument which when pressed together lit a flame – you were then meant to ‘share your deepest thoughts, held in the bottom of your heart with your loved one’.
We settled on a 20-minute trek to the Eternal Flame, known as the Lover’s Sanctuary as the flame is akin to the eternal fire of love! However, the path was narrow, steep and rutted and after twenty minutes we encountered a sign telling us we were half way there – Roy and I decided to head back down, leaving our (just) younger friends to continue. Their verdict on return – ‘it wasn’t worth it’.
I guess that having been unable to share our deepest thoughts and given up before we found the eternal flame, we’ll be heading for the divorce courts soon!