Japan Day 8: Travelling to Hiroshima
We didn’t do a lot besides train travel on our 8th day, but Hiroshima city ended up being both Jives and my self’s favourite city in Japan. Hiroshima felt both rural and metropolitan. The main mode of transportation is street car, which gives the city an old-timey feel, whilst the downtown core lined with arcades and electronic shops, makes it feel very modern. Most sites are within walking distance of one another, and after sprawling Kyoto we were very happy to be walking and not busing.
We took the Kodoma train from Kyoto to Osaka, then transferred to the Sakura line for the rest of the way into Hiroshima. From Hiroshima station we took the street car to our hostel called J-Hoppers. The hostel was really nice! Our room was a traditional tatami room with a balcony and seating area!
We checked into the hostel, and then went off in search of an amazing food place we had read about……OKONOMI-MURA!!!!!! http://www.okonomimura.jp/foreign/english.html
SO, Okonomi-Mura is a multi level complex filled with Okonomiyaki restaurants, each offering something slightly different.
What’s okonomiyaki you ask?
Okonomiyaki is the best food ever!!!!! We had only ever tried okonomiyaki made at home (poorly by myself) so to try it in Japan was incredible. Okonomiyaki is a cabbage pancake made with flour and cabbage and green onions and sauce and lots and lots of other toppings depending on what you like. The name okonomiyaki is therefore perfect, meaning “what you like” and “grilled” or “Japanese pizza” to some. We sat down at the first place we saw (because the staff was energetically waving us over, and being overly politely self conscious Canadians, we couldn’t say no)! They did not disappoint!!
After our absolutely massive meal, we wandered through the somber part of Hiroshima. By somber I mean the looming monuments to WWII, and the A-bomb dome. Much like when I visited Auschwitz, I feel like it is incredibly important to visit and pay respects to monuments like this. It is always tricky knowing how to describe or express what it’s like to be there, it is certainly something that needs to be felt and experienced in the moment. I found the overwhelming amount of folded paper cranes, sent from around the world very moving.