Travelling west towards Onomichi, Hiroshima, Iwakuni and Miyajima

Once again I used the discount ticket (seishun 18 kippu) to travel deeper into western Japan. I began the journey from Kansai, and the first stop of the day was Onomochi, which is famous for having many temples despite its small size. I went on the “Temple walk“, starting with a 5 min cable car ride up the local mountain. The senkoji park provided a spectacular view of the town. On the way down, I saw many things: from small ojisozan statues to a wild cat fight. Later, I enjoyed a beautiful and delicious waffle and then walked around the town until I decided to stop for some excellent ramen. Having appeased my appetite, I continued onwards to Hiroshima.

On the second day, I didn’t use the seishun ticket, but instead spent the day roaming around Hiroshima. Hiroshima is a comfortable town with wide streets and friendly people. I had lunch by the riverside and helped translate  “The possibilities are endless” to “可能性は無限大” for an old Japanese man who had a cap with that saying in English。

At the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, I was approached by many high school students to help them with their school project and folded many paper cranes, which are a symbol for peace. I felt a little melancholy the rest of the day after seeing the seeing the horrors of the atomic bomb and its effect on the people of Hiroshima at the museum. Before the sun set, I went to Shukkeien Garden, and enjoyed the sight of bonsai trees and many turtles and carps in the pond. As it was getting late, I continued to “okonomimura“, which is a portmanteau of the words for Japanese pizza (okonomiyaki) and village (mura). There, I enjoyed the pleasant of Hiroshima-style onomoiyaki made from noodles and a lot of vegetables.

On the third day, I woke up early and took the train towards Iwakuni. The lunch of the day was skewered meat, squid and a beer, which I enjoyed while sitting down by the river close to the beautiful Kintai bridge. After that, I took the ferry over to miyajima and went straight to my japanese style inn (ryokan) to drop off my luggage. One of the many goals for trip was to hike Mount Misen, so I took the cable car up to the peak and gazed upon a spectacular view.  On the way down, I descended thousands of stone steps and stopped by many small shrines and temples, including the amazing buddhist temple, Daisho-in.

I ate a full course dinner at a restaurant called Mametanuki and I finished the night by taking night shots of Itsukushima-jinja. Finally, I took a dip in the ofuro (japanese style bath) and went back to my room and slept like a log.

At 10:05 AM on the next day, the lady in charge of the inn woke me up and kindly reminded me about the checkout time at 10:00. Leaving the hotel, I went back to Itsukushima jinja and bought a book called “shuinchou“, which is a special book used to collect stamps and hand-drawn calligraphy from the temples and shrines in Japan.

Once back at mainland Japan, I took a 7-hour journey back home to Kansai using local trains.



二日目、私は青春18切符を使用せず、その代わりに広島市内をうろうろしました。広島は通りが広く、また親切な人が多い快適な町です。川岸のお店に寄って昼ごはんを食べたとき、英語で”The possibilities are endless”と書いてある帽子を被っているおじいさんがいました。その人に、この意味は何かと尋ねられたので「可能性は無限大」と訳してあげました。

広島平和記念公園では、高校生たちの学校のプロジェクトの一貫として平和のシンボルである折り鶴を一緒に折るように声を掛けられました。平和記念公園にいる間たくさん高校生に出会ったので、その都度一緒に鶴を折りました。原爆資料館で被爆した方々の影響や原爆の恐ろしさを見たあとは一日中もの悲しい気持ちでした。資料館をあとにして、陽が沈む前に縮景園に行って盆栽の木や池にいた亀や鯉の姿を見て楽しみました。だんだん辺りが暗くなってきたときに、日本のピザ(お好み焼き)のお店が集まる村、”お好み村” へ、足を延ばしました。そこで麺とたくさんの野菜で作られた広島風のお好み焼きを食べました。