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Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima October 28th 2019

Hiroshima was hard. We arrived in the afternoon did a luggage drop and decided to get lunch before the Peace Park. Some old dude tried to mack on Susan the entire train ride to our hostel. Fun fact about Hiroshima is that, like San Francisco, they buy their streetcars from all over the world so it's kind of a cool hodgepodge of cars on the streets. We, as has been the theme, were bad about getting breakfast so were hangry searching for food and wound up at an Italian place near the Peace Park that wasn't too bad. I was feeling anxious about actually going to the memorial sites and the museum and it started showing up in my body around the end of lunch when I started expelling all manner of bad energy through my ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Onomichi October 28th 2019

So a lot of our trip has us hitting up places somewhat randomly. We made a stop in Onomich because we had read a blog on festivals in Japan and were intrigued be the lantern festivals. This one just happened to be midway between Hiroshima and Sukoku and fell right on the day we needed to travel so it felt like happenstance that we should follow. As we approached on the train it was quieter and the skies were clear, no wind at all. You would not know that typhoon no. 19 was crossing over Japan hours down the coast. We arrived after sunset so a few lanterns were already set up at the train station. There were tons of volunteers handing out pamphlets and maps and it was crowded, but not overwhelming. We made our ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima October 9th 2019

Hi All, I spent the morning visiting the Peace Park, A-Bomb Dome and Museum. The park is very pretty with loads of Japanese school children learning about the horror of the atomic bomb attack on 6th August 1945. The museum is very poignant with lots of artifacts from that fateful day. There was the steps from a bank with the shadow of a person who was vapourised on the steps, lots of burnt clothes, melted bottles, stopped clocks and watches and many drawings done by the survivors depicting the destruction to the city and its population. From living in China I have visited quite a few sites in which the Imperial Japanese Army commited terrible and disgusting atrocities so I do find the Japanese take on history a bit difficult to take. In the section on ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima October 9th 2019

Hi All After visiting the Peace Park in the morning I went to the Shukkei-en Gardens which were a short walk from my hotel. These gardens feature heavily in John Hersey's article, called Hiroshima, which was published in the New Yorker magazine in August 1946. It was the first article to be printed in The US about the horror and destruction caused by the atomic bomb and it won Hersey the Pulitzer Prize. Hersey's article tells of the survivors gathering in the gardens and sheltering from the fires which were raging throughout the city. It is hard to imagine what those people went through when sitting in those beautiful and peaceful gardens today. I sat by the river and read the chapter in the article describing the suffering and bewilderment of the people on that day. ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima June 30th 2019

Sunday, 30th June 2019 Breakfast was a happy affair at Royal Host, one of the nicer restaurants in the city that opens early in the day and closes late into the night. I liked how well my scrambled egg turned out to be - creamy, soft and full of flavour. Unfortunately, the toast on my plate was slightly browned even though the coffee tasted great as usual. Armed with a One Day Ticket, I proceeded to the Peace Memorial Park after breakfast and the loop bus dropped me a couple of stops later in front of the Orizu Tower, Hiroshima's newest icon. Admission to the wooden observatory at level 12 cost a whopping 1,700 Yen which should provide a clear vantage view of the Peace Memorial Park surrounds even though I had rather part my Yen ... read more
Desserts at SOGO
Onsen facilities at APA Hotel Hiroshima
Early breakfast

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima June 29th 2019

Saturday, 29th June 2019 Before heading to Hiroshima in the afternoon, I made a brief stop at the town of Tatsuno. This is home to Japan's only Soy Sauce Museum. Access to Tatsuno is relatively straight forward with frequent trains departing from Himeji throughout the day. Getting to the museum from the train station included a brief 25 minutes walk along the old town thoroughfare complete with a bridge crossing. Housed within an atmospheric brick building dating back from the previous century, the museum charged a symbolic 10 yen entry fee and it was manned by a really friendly elderly lady. I probably spent about 30 minutes in the cosy museum and there were some English translations available for non-Japanese speakers like me. The weather was unforgiving when my train pulled into JR Hiroshima Station for ... read more
Lunch before heading to Hiroshima
My stay in Hiroshima
Okonomiyaki Hiroshima

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima June 23rd 2019

After two busy days in Kyoto, we were fully focused on packing everything up again as we prepared to make the train trip onwards to Hiroshima. We knew we still had a 'tea ceremony' on the itinerary, but with our attention focused on cramming all the clothes, teddies and newly acquired tat into the same -- already overloaded - bags we had arrived with, we sort of missed getting excited about the remaining prearranged programme. After requesting a later check out, we set out into a now quite comfortably familiar Kyoto. Despite the heat we decided to walk the 20 minutes or so the map said it would take to get to WAK. As if to prove the general sentiment of helpfulness here, we were approached by an older Japanese man offering assistance while we were ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima June 23rd 2019

Sunday, 23rd June 2019 So here I am back to the Land of Rising Sun - this time flying straight into Hiroshima Airport. I curated this trip to explore the Sanyo-Sanin Coast between Hakata and Himeji as far as the Shinkansen could bring me over the course of a week. My Silkair flight departed in the wee hours on Sunday, 23rd June 2019. Frankly, I wasn't expecting too much into this flight given that it used the single-aisle A320 series. I had paid about $600 for the tickets. The price was okay - nothing too unreasonable for the 7-hour journey. There was a 30kg luggage allowance and breakfast was served prior to landing. I managed to grab some sleep on my comfortable emergency row seat even though it did not allow for a reclining position. After ... read more
Ramen before my journey to Kokura
Toto Museum, Kokura
Downtown Kokura

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima June 17th 2019

The train we caught to Kanasawa on Tuesday 11 June was a Shinkansen super express train. The way the embarkation took place was an exercise in military precision and execution. Organisational perfection! I liked Kanasawa right away. It has an impressive train station and excellent information booth. Be sure to visit it and get your info regarding how to get around the town. Kanasawa has two rivers which traverse it and are almost parallel to each other. It also has a crisscrossing series of water channels and moats which we often happened upon during our two and a half days stay there. There is so much to see in Kanazawa: Nagamachi (a former samurai district), the lovely streets of Higashi-chaya-gai (where you can visit some former Geisha houses), Teramachi (dozens of temples), Kanasawa Castle Park and ... read more
The Geisha district
Inside a Geisha house
Lovely old wooden houses

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima May 21st 2019

On the heels of yesterday’s professionally guided sightseeing around Hiroshima, today we decided to add a self-guided tour of Hiroshima castle. The travel company had booked our train tickets for early morning to go to Okayama. However, last night we changed the Shinkansen tickets to late afternoon and took ourselves off to Hiroshima castle. Before leaving the hotel we forwarded two suitcases to Kobe and kept just the items we thought we would need for two days before we got to Kobe. We decided to use the Hiroshima Loop Bus system. There are three routes around the city. The bus station was opposite the hotel. So onto the bus we got and made our stop the castle. The castle is an impressive five storey pagoda shaped building. The castle is built on a stone base of ... read more
view from Hiroshima Castle
view from Hiroshima Castle




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