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Published: July 14th 2013
Thursday, 23rd May 2013
I started my final morning in Hiroshima with a visit to the Mazda Stadium and the Hiroshima World Peace Memorial Cathedral. Having started out very early in the morning, the city was only starting to wake up by the time I finished my walk.
Breakfast was decided at Royal Host, a western-inspired local café chain. What I liked about these Japanese eateries was that for a fixed price, I could help myself to a wide variety of quality beverages available at the drinks bar.
By mid-morning, I was ready to say goodbye to Hiroshima and proceed to my last two stops in Japan. From Hiroshima, I travelled 342km on my final leg of the Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka. All in all, at the end of nine days, I would have covered more than 2,000km on the rail. The city was where I would be spending my remaining time in Japan at the Shin-Osaka Station Hotel
. Osaka was not an unfamiliar territory for me having spent my last vacation in the city back in 2007.
While waiting for my room to be ready, I took advantage of the Japan Rail Pass to visit the Osaka International Peace
Centre, a museum that remembered the air raids in Osaka during the 1945 allied bombings. Also on the itinerary was some picture taking opportunities with life-sized trains at the Modern Transportation Museum.
My Kobe journey should start the following day but in order to have an early perspective of the city, I took an evening train from Osaka to Sannomiya Station (34km) where the heart of the city was. After getting my bearings right at the Tourist Office, I took off to the Kobe City Hall where free views of the city skyline could be had at level 24 of the building.
Watching the sun setting itself over Kobe Bay was a welcoming sight as the city lights up itself gradually for the night. This was an ideal elevation to "Feel Kobe"
over a bird's eye view.
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