Blogs from Hiroshima, Japan, Asia

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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 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

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Miyajima May 20th 2019

For breakfast every day so far I have had salad and fruit but today I was able to have my favourite cereal - cocoa pops! We were met in the hotel by our guide for the day Masako Unezaki. Our first stop was the island of Miyajima. We took a train to Miyajimaguchi and then a ferry across to Miyajima. Whilst we were on the train I asked a question about the railway. All the rail lines are run by JR - Japan Rail. The railway started off as a nationalised enterprise until 1 April 1987. It split into seven companies - six being passenger companies and one being a freight company. Although they all carry the same logo they are distinct companies; they do not have a group holding company or a group headquarters, they ... read more
Tori gate of Itsukushima shrine
Itsukushima shrine on Miyashima island
Kukai (Kobo Daishi) founded Shingon Buddhism

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima April 24th 2019

After a night of sailing through the inner Sea of Japan we arrived at a very wet Hiroshima. Having been to the Peace Park before, which is excellent if you come here, we decided to take the ferry across to Miyajima Island. The journey only takes 10 minutes and they are very efficient at loading and unloading. The first thing you see is the large red torii gate which rises up out of the sea. It is bright red to chase away any evil spirits. It was built in 1875 to replace a previous one. Behind it is the large beautiful Itsukushima Shrine which is lovely to walk through. It is guarded by the two lions one open mouthed saying "Aah" as a baby would shout at birth and the other one closed mouthed saying "Mmm" ... read more
Tiz and gate
Aah lion
"Mmm" lion

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima November 26th 2018

Its a bit like planes, trains and automobiles today as we have to make our way from Kyoto to Hiroshima which involves a few trains, one bullet train and finally a street tram. We get up early so we can sit down and have a proper breakfast before we leave, as we know we won't have much time in between trains and travelling. We find a little cafe that does scrambled eggs with sausages (mini frankfurters) and pancakes so that sounds good to us. It's double the price of what we paid in Tokyo for the same meal and the pancakes aren't nearly as good, but it fills us up. We haven't booked tickets for the train to Hiroshima beforehand so really hope there are stills seats available, and thankfully there are. Its a 2hr 15 ... read more
The original remaining building
The peace memorial
The flame will be put out when all nuclear arms are disarmed

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima August 3rd 2018

Dear All Greetings from Hiroshima! After a blissful few days off the beaten tourist track on the island of Shikoku, I have returned once more to the tourist trail. But this feels very different to Kyoto – most tourists here are either Japanese or Westerners, there are no hordes from the Chinese mainland, which is a relief. It also feels a bit different here – I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I feel the people here seem a little feistier, hardier, than I’ve seen in other places. There are some really friendly people, but this doesn’t always seem the case, and compared to other places so far where everyone greets you in a lift, for example, not everyone does so here. I wonder if it’s just the way people are here, or I do ... read more
Atomic Bomb Dome
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Floating Torii

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima July 3rd 2018

Woke very early this morning. We have a train to catch to Hiroshima and wanted to get away early. Alarm was set for 6:00 but we were both up before the alarm went off to finish packing bags before heading down to breakfast. We chose the Japanese breakfast this morning. It was a beautiful selection of tasty morsels of fish, rice, chicken, miso soup and some fruit to finish with. Portions were sensible and it was an excellent start to the day. Because we were up so early we were able to transfer to an earlier train once we were at the station. Again, our timing with catching trains and busses has been amazing. We arrived at the station around 7:45, swapped our tickets, and were pulling out of the station at 8:00 bound for Hiroshima. ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima July 2nd 2018

Brett woke this morning feeling very poorly. Some type of alien man-flu, only clearly much worse. However, being the samurai that he now is (given he has a knife) he soldiered on so the holiday could continue as planned. After a quick breakfast, we caught a taxi to nishiki market. A large under-cover area much like the central market in Adelaide only with octopus ice blocks and some other weird things that I'm not sure what they actually were. We will examine the photos under the microscope when we get home with the aid of a forensic expert to see if we can work out what we were looking at. As always, despite the weirdness of some things, everything was beautifully presented and looked so good. We dawdled through the market for a while before coming ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima May 25th 2018

Everyone has bowed to us as we’ve gone into and out of hotels, restaurants, shops, temples and museums all over Japan, and random people have sometimes even bowed to us in the street. We’ve very much got into the habit of bowing back, and sometimes we now even find ourselves bowing to people who haven’t bowed to us. We think that this is likely to be a hard habit to break, and we wonder how people will react if we start bowing to them when we get back home. I’ve known some people who would think it was only fitting that we bow to them whenever we see them, preferably as low and as frequently as possible. Fortunately I haven’t known too many of these people. I don’t think that many people could come to Hiroshima ... read more
Atomic Bomb Dome
School children singing outside the Children’s Peace Monument
Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims




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