The trip to Hiroshima came up spontaneously. Actually, we were going to spend a week in Wakayama, and booked everything already, except transfer. And we were about to already buy (non-refundable) tickets we suddenly chosen an entirely different place to visit. So much for advance planning =)
We arrived on Wednesday night. Thursday was dedicated to looking around the city – Hiroshima Castle, Peace Memorial, and all kinds of walking.
Hiroshima is very much about A-bombing and promotion of peace. Numerous buses carry local children and all kinds of tourists to the memorial and to the park next to it; excursions are all around.
But I’d like to distract from grim topics and show the city. Most important sightseeing for me were trams, the coastline, and obscure bottles of booze =)
The trams are very cool. I love land transport that travels slowly so that I can watch around. Tram stops are very convenient, with electronic displays and route maps. The vehicles are styled either retro or quite contemporary but always comfortable. For most destinations within the city there’s a flat rate, with payment on exit.
I can’t help praising the coastline in Hiroshima. It’s outstanding! Due to many islands in the bay it looks just unbelievable. In the next post you’ll see photos from the 25th floor of our hotel.
This is our second day, when we took a trip to Miyajima island – which is well worth a trip for an entire day.
Beggar-deers are very prominent next to the pier on the island. They can leave you without an ice-cream, or without pants, whatever comes first in their mouths.
The famous Itsukushima gate in low tide.
A part of the road to the top can be shortcut by a cable car, and there’s a park on the way to it. Boy was it gorgeous… Maples, deers, autumn, signature Japanese bridges – and, of course, crowds of people) So excuse me for lack of wide shots.
The cable car costs ¥1000 one way, ¥1800 round trip. I recommend to take it one way – up – and descend on foot. There are two reasons for that. First, when we reached the top station, we found out about 150 people waiting (for well over an hour ahead) to ride the cable car down. There was some waiting on the way up but surely not that long. Second, the road down on foot is actually no less interesting and beautiful. There are pamphlets with available walking trails that you can easily get almost anywhere along and lay out your route.
Still, the cable car is fascinating in its own right, as you can see above. It carries you not to the summit, but only to the Shichi-iwa observation platform. And there’s another half an hour of walking to the mountain top.
While we’ve been going up and down, the tide has set in.
Daisho-in, one more temple behind the well-known Itsukushima-jinja.
It was about 5pm when we came back to the shore; and shops, all together, started closing. And then we decided to get some oysters instead of trying to find a still-open venue with something more profound. Actually, they sell oysters everywhere (because they grow them in this very bay, a few kilometres away). But back on our way up, we’d noticed a particularly long line to one place; and it still has been there in the evening. We were lucky to be the last customers on that day. After us, they no more accepted orders, and quite enough people passed by disappointed.
I had tasted oysters once before and found them disgusting at that time. But it turned out it’s the case when one has to cook the meal properly. These oysters were heavenly! Soft, tender, juicy, incredibly tasty. The 2 pieces below cost us ¥400 (about 3,5 USD). These were plain but they were also available under cheese and with some other add-ons. In a word, incredible!
To be continued…