Japan Day 4 – Hiroshima is beautiful

Tip:

  • If you have a JR Pass, to help with the cost of the trip use the Navitime app (for iPhone and Android) to search for JUST JR lines
  • Using the buses around Hiroshima are cheaper than taking the subway if you can’t find a JR line to take you to where you need to go. When you ride buses you pay as you get off. To know how much look at the amount table at the front of the bus and read it from right to left. In the picture below when I got off, I owed ¥160 img_6388

I planned a big day for myself today since I only have today in Hiroshima, but I thought I should get as much rest as possible, yet I somehow woke up at 7:30 AM anyway…I got up and grabbed a pastry to go, a sausage wrapped in a croissant.

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And with that, I took a streetcar (¥160) to Hijiyama Park, with intent to check out more cherry blossoms! I was pleasantly surprised to not only find beautiful cherry blossoms, but also the Museum of Contemporary Art, a gorgeous walk around the park, and…a MANGA LIBRARY! I know…I’m just a geek…but I was secretly squeeing inside…

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And there aren’t just cherry blossoms…my favorite type of tree is the magnolia.

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And…then…I found the Manga Library O_O

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Next stop, Fukoromachi Elementary School Museum. This is a free museum that provides artifacts from when Hiroshima was bombed. The only part of the school that remains is the west wall. It was very educational. One of the things I really appreciate about being in Hiroshima is that it is clear people still honor those who died…one way they show it is by offerings, flowers, and folding and presenting 1,000 origami cranes.

I walked to Cafe Ponte on Motoyasu River (see pictures from yesterday). This is where they serve sakura gelato. Unfortunately, they were out 😦 so instead, I got milk salt gelato, which was very tasty and I would highly recommend stopping there if you happen to be in Hiroshima.

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Now of to Miyajima Island to see the Great Torii (大鳥居). To get there from Hiroshima Station you can take the “San-yo Line” (JR Pass) to Miyajimaguchi Station and then take the JR Ferry (JR Pass, are you seeing a trend?) and there you are. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it isn’t just the awesome, floating gate, but a fantastic town surrounding it. I took a ton of pictures, I posted a few here and the rest can be found on my Instagram.

The first few shots are on the ferry ride over.

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What I wasn’t expecting when I walked off the ferry was to be greeted by a ton of deer…

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There’s a trail that loops around where you’ll pass the shrine, 5 story pagoda, you’ll walk through the village itself, and eventually get back to the pier.

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After leaving the pagoda I found an adorable restaurant where I ordered a soba for ¥670.

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I also noticed that there were these cookies that were being sold EVERYWHERE, it’s called momiji manjyu. I bought one filled with custard, but you can buy all different flavors like green tea, red bean, chocolate, etc. Since I just wanted to try it I found a place that sells one piece for ¥100.

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I also learned that if it’s high tide the Torii will appear to be floating in water, but if it’s low tide it will not (my friend sent me the picture below for low tide).

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I ended up staying at the on the island much longer than expected, but I had a really good time and glad that I went. I left around 4:00 and came back to the hotel to rest and ice my knee. There is one more thing that I really wanted to do before I left Hiroshima, and that is to see Shukkien at night. At night they light up the whole park and you can tour for just ¥260; and it’s worth it. I got some really great shots and you must be sick of cherry blossoms, but I’m not. I found one that actually has two shades of pink, it was beautiful.

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I also wanted to have dessert here and found a great parfait place, I ordered the strawberry shortcake one and it was soooooo yummy!

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Tomorrow, back to Tokyo.  I bought my train ticket back the day I arrived and shockingly there were no assigned seats available on the Sakura bullet train, but I got one on the longer leg back to Tokyo (3 hours) so I’m happy.

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