(2012年11月26日・月) Although it was pretty late, I got to catch the last of the fall colors in Miyajima today! (I also did a little Christmas shopping…)
Everyone I asked told me the peak of the fall colors around this area was last week, and while I knew this last week, I was pretty darn tired after kencho/JET meeting and I wasn’t really up to going that Saturday or Sunday. This week, due to a Sunday parent-teacher day kind of a thing (参観日) at the middle school, I got Monday (today) off! Which is great! …except that the weather forecast for the last week was telling me to expect this:
I spent a while in the morning Google image searching “Miyajima rainy” (etc) to try and figure out if I could still make it…I kept going back and forth about it for like an hour, and then I called my grandma and grandpa on Skype really quick to see if they thought it was viable (haha). They encouraged me to go, so I went! I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t really that cold, and the sun even peeked out a few times! I don’t think it rained at all.
While some of the trees had lost all of their color completely, some still retained their bright red, orange, and yellow colors. One of my favorite things about today was getting to watch the leaves fall. Towards the beginning of my walk, there was a strong gust of wind that started blowing leaves and water in my direction, and I taped it! (real life was better, though) This video brought to you by YouTube Video Stabilizer! Believe me, I was not holding my camera that steady while stuff was flying in my face hahaha.
There was still plenty of bright red waiting for me!^^
The leaves on the ground went from red to orange to yellow–it was really cool…
I kept walking even past Momijidani Park, and took this video around the same area as the first picture.
The almost-rainy weather didn’t stop the tourists! There were lots of tours going on there.
I climbed up the steps to Daishoin Temple to get more pictures of fall colors, but I didn’t go up any further because I was starting to get tired of walking…
I never go to Miyajima without eating something good! I ate a lot more than just this soft serve ice cream (“soft cream”) today, but this was from a special vendor that had what I think were 栗/kuri (Japanese chestnuts). This ice cream had kuri mixed into it, as well as a warm kuri on top!^^ I don’t think it was as big as the other soft creams being sold here and there, but it was definitely better. At the bottom, there were corn flakes. I feel like even though Japan doesn’t officially have as much “cereal” as the U.S. (good luck finding your favorite cereal here), it seems to appear in other places, like in candy. Last week when I went to Yanai to see a festival, I ate some strawberry-flavored/covered rice crunch treats, and they tasted exactly like Kix or Reese’s Puffs or something. I think there’s plenty of cereal here that Americans would be familiar with, it just takes a different form, haha. (which makes sense, since we all sort of know that the popular cereals are mostly sugar anyway…)
When it was time to go back, a section of the clouds opened up and light poured in over the ocean. It was just on this one spot, and as we all lined up to board the ferry, a lot of people were rushing to the other side of the ramp to get a good picture before a new arriving crowd came though. Looking back on this, though, it was really good timing that allowed me to see this, because the clouds were moving very quickly, and by the time we’d all boarded the ferry (which was like in less than 10 minutes), the clouds had already moved mostly behind the island and we couldn’t see it anymore. And if I’d come earlier, it might not’ve looked like that yet. Who can say…but still.
On my way to the ferry coming here, I’d noticed a sign advertising for a “kaki burger” (“oishii yo!”). Miyajima has a lot of kaki (oyster) cuisine, but this is the only “oyster burger” I think I’ve ever seen, so I stopped to get one. It had cabbage and two kinds of sauce that made it seem like a regular fish burger, but it was really good! I got to talk with the lady at the stand, and I think it was her idea to make a burger out of deep-fried kaki. Good job, kaki stand!^^
Thus ends another trip to Miyajima! I got singled out for a survey by some ladies who I think work with Hiroshima tourism advisers or something, and for participating I got a free Miyajima rice-scooping spoon! It was a good day. Tomorrow, I get to give a presentation on Christmas to the 6th graders at my elementary school, which will include Japanese Christmas vs. American Christmas, the history and tradition of Santa Claus, and the story of Jesus’ birth (all kept brief due to my only having an hour). If you see this, please pray that it will go well, because the first teacher I teach with is being observed that day! Thank you!