Hiroshima is a beautiful modern city with an ominous past. This is one of the two sites where the USA dropped an atomic bomb in World War II. The memorial and museum in the city present the atrocity and Japan’s role in World War II in a respectful and informative way. Let us hope that remembering this dark part of human history will ensure that it never repeats itself.
Aside from the memorials, there are many other great sites to check out. The Hiroshima Castle (actually a replica of the original) is an interesting museum of Japanese history. A little pricey, but interesting none-the-less. Another unique trip is to the Itsukushima Shine, a Shinto shrine along the coast. Depending on the tide, the shrine can be partly submerged in water. You can easily take public transit to this site via train/boat.
In Japan so far, it’s fairly easy to note that costs are quite a bit higher than other Asian countries. Long-haul Japanese trains are very expensive, but for budget travellers, you can easily take buses instead for a fraction of the cost. No pass is required – just head to the local bus station and buy your tickets there. In peak travel times, it may we worthwhile to buy the ticket a day or so in advance.
Jon and I had a cool experience in a Japanese restaurant/pub. We heard that okonomiyaki was very good, so we found a restaurant serving this. We walked in and saw what looked like a bar, but half of the bar was actually a large grill. We sat down asked for okonomiyaki. Our server then poured a rice-based batter on the grill to form a pancake like item, and started adding cabbage, pork, eggs, sauce, and all kinds of vegetables. When she was done she gave us a plate and a spatula. We could slice up our lunch and chow done when we were ready!
A local fellow at the restaurant noticed that we weren’t locals (I wonder how!), and told us he works as a chef in Las Vegas, and was back home for holidays. We chatted with him for quite a while, and he wouldn’t let us pay for our meal – he covered the full bill! What hospitality!
Now we head west to Osaka!
Asia Trip – Early 2016