From Japan’s kitchen we made our way to Hiroshima
The first day in Hiroshima was spent doing the touristy stuff, we walked through the Peace Park and saw the A bomb dome. Some powerful sights to behold.
We didn’t spend the entire day thinking about history. In fact, on our walk to find some lunch we walked passed a pachinko parlour and figured we’d have a go. I still have no idea how to play the game and have absolutely no idea how people can sit there for hours with the gaming machines blasting music at you.
We had ramen for lunch. The restaurant had a great idea that I’ve not seen in Japan before – you could order another bowl of noodles to go into what’s left of the broth! I imagine it’s a common thing, but this was the first I’ve ever noticed it.
After lunch we made our way to Miyajima Island. Unfortunately the floating torii gate was under cover as it’s being refurbished due to the sea water. The deer on the island, however, were still there and still terrorising everyone in the island.
I took a few pics of the coming sunset also, unfortunately there was a bit too much cloud to get as good a sunset photo as I did last time I was there.
What was on the island this time was a brewery! Miyajima Brewing Company set up around 3 years ago and are making decent beers.
After quenching our thirst we set off on a hike to the peak of the island, we got to the top just as the cable car shut…luckily, we hadn’t also missed the shuttle bus. We made our way back to the hotel in Hiroshima.
It was dinner time, and you can’t go to Hiroshima without having Hiroshima style okonomiyaki. We went for okonomiyaki with the same restrictions as we did for food in Osaka: authentic food without other tourists.
We went to Okonomimura, a four storey building with nothing but okonomiyaki restaurants. We started at the top floor so we could use gravity to assist us in the search of a restaurant in the event we had to try another floor. On the fourth floor the first few restaurants were full of tourists – no good for us. We turned a corner and saw what we could only describe as a locals’ place.
It was not as clean as the other places, the chef immediately told us there was no English menu. We said that’s fine. He wasn’t expecting that at all. We sat down and ordered some beers, the stand off with the chef continuing. I’m not sure he wanted tourists there, but we weren’t giving him any say in the matter. We ordered two pork okonomiyaki and watched the chef get to work.
All the while he was cooking, he was entertaining the salarymen there. The chef had 4 cigarettes, 3 glasses of beer and a whisky on the go at once. We had found our place to eat! The chef was a character and this was one of the few times where I felt I needed to know some Japanese, just to get an idea of what stories this chef was telling the salarymen. They were having a great time, we enjoyed our food and beer. A couple of Japanese women arrived on the floor and walked to this restaurant, they saw the salarymen, the chef, we two tourists, and promptly about turned.
We weren’t sure what to do the following day so after breakfast I suggested a cultural experience and said that we need to find our way to a place called Saijo. I explained the cultural experience on the train to Saijo – sake tasting!
There are 8 sake breweries all within a 10 minute walk of the train station. We tried all of the breweries and most had free tasting, we must have tried at least 20 different sake that day. It was a good day!