Japan – Hiroshima

From Osaka we continued to Hiroshima. First we went to activate our Japan Rail Passes and to get the seat tickets for our train. It turned out that the train we were planning on taking was fully booked, so we had to take the next train. We were quite surprised as I read that this almost never happens outside of major holidays, so we decided to get the rest of the seat reservations for our trip as it turns out we had some time on our hands. We had a pretty good plan and we knew at what time we wanted to travel, so it was best to get the tickets now than be surprised later.

After we got tickets, we decided to look for a place to eat. There were plenty of restaurants at Osaka station and almost all of them have plastic versions of the dishes they serve in their windows We kind of chose one at random, which was ok, but had a bit weird side dishes. 🙂

90_Lunch at Osaka Station
Lunch at Osaka Station

In Hiroshima we stayed at Mitsui Garden Hotel, which had a nice view, but otherwise was a bit dated. I had to do a bit of work, so I spent a couple of hours on that and then we went out for dinner.

91_Mitsui Garden Hotel Hiroshima
View from Mitsui Garden Hotel

My boyfriend found a restaurant, which was supposed to be very good. We took a bus for something like 20 min and got out in the middle of nowhere. At least it seemed like a seedy harbour area and I was sure for a moment that we were completely in a wrong place. After going around some buildings, we actually spotted the correct place – Guttsuri-ann, which really looked more like a shed than a restaurant. But we were encouraged to take off our shoes and go in and it turned out that inside there was a spacious restaurant.

95_Guttsuri-ann
Guttsuri-ann

They didn’t have a menu in English, but the server spoke excellent English and she recommended some really great dishes. It is very uncommon to hear fluent English in Japan, so this was a delight as we got great recommendations on what to try and how to eat them. We tried several dishes with shochu and sake and it was one of the best meals we had during our trip. This place is amazing and if I’m ever again in Hiroshima, I’m definitely going back!

97_Guttsuri-ann
Guttsuri-ann
99_Guttsuri-ann
Guttsuri-ann
103_Guttsuri-ann
Guttsuri-ann

The only downside of this restaurant is that it is indeed quite far from the city center and if you stay long enough, you need to get an Uber or a taxi to get back. We just managed to catch the last bus to the city, which was just a bit after ten o’clock.

The next morning we started our day with early lunch at EG meat & wine, but to be honest, I was really disappointed. Either the food didn’t taste like much or we just had such great food the night before that nothing would match it.

109_EG Meat & Wine
EG Meat & Wine

After lunch we headed towards Hiroshima Memorial Park. We started with Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which was partially closed, but still had a compact exhibition. I think it had an entrance of fee ¥500. There were a lot of people in the small space, so it was a bit difficult to move among the crowds.

112_Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
113_Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

After the museum we took a walk in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and visited Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. The entire area had understandable solemn vibe around it and the cloudy weather just added to it.

115_Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims
Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims
117_Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
118_Children's Peace Monument
Children’s Peace Monument
119_Hiroshima
Hiroshima

The final stop was at Hiroshima Peace Memorial, which was the only building left standing near the bomb’s hypocenter.

120_Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
123_Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Just when we were finishing our walk and thinking where should we head to next, it started raining. And of course we have left our umbrellas at the hotel. We went into the nearby mall to try to find a bar (which was closed) and ended up grabbing some baked snacks from the Aloft Boulangerie at the mall.

125_Aloft Boulangerie
Aloft Boulangerie

After that we went back outside and decided to take the sightseeing bus, but for some reason it never came. We stood at the bus stop for the longest time and after a while we gave up and decided to go back to the hotel as the rain would just not stop. When we were waiting for the bus to the hotel, we actually saw a sightseeing bus go past us, but it was full of people. So, I guess we weren’t the only ones, who had this idea. 😀

We also managed to take the bus into the wrong direction and had to wait for the bus back under the rain. So, at this point we were really not in the mood. 😀 We finally made to correct bus and were walking to our hotel when we spotted a beer cafe and decided that what the hell, we can go grab a couple of drinks. Beer was quite ok, but a I ordered a cocktail and it was not good, so I’d recommend to stick with beer.

127_Raku Beer
Raku Beer

Then we headed back to the hotel via a 7 Eleven. I kept trying to find some nice ice tea, but all of them had zero sugar and frankly tasted disgusting. I finally managed to find a couple of ice teas which tasted good to me around the middle of our trip. It’s also amazing how even smallest shops have a large selection of surgical masks the purpose of which is still somehow a mystery to me. I kind of get that you don’t want to spread/catch germs, but I don’t think it’s very hygienic either to have all your bacteria warm and moist around your nose and mouth all the time.

128_Big Echo Karaoke
Big Echo Karaoke
129_7 Eleven
7 Eleven

We were looking for a place to have dinner and we arrived to this address, which was supposed to have a sushi place. The address did have a sushi place, but it had a different name than what it said online, but we were hungry and decided to go in anyway and see what Takeru Sushi had to offer. We came in and the first thing we were greeted with was “No English”. We said that’s ok, because this was a sushi place, so we just said first sashimi and then sushi. We were seated at the counter (we were the only customers, but the restaurant had only six seats anyway). They cleaned the counter and the chef started putting together sashimi and then just setting them on the counter in front of us. The only other English they knew was “no sauce” when we tried to dip something in soy sauce, which apparently shouldn’t be dipped. 😀

After maybe ten different pieces of sashimi the chef started serving sushi. It was all amazingly good! The ingredients were fresh and tastes were just perfect. Hands down the best sushi I’ve had in my life and I’ve had some pretty good sushi before. After maybe another ten pieces of sushi the chef just said “finish” and we thanked them, paid, and left. 😀 The price was on the expensive side (around 75€ per person), but this food was well worth the price.

132_Takeru Sushi
Takeru Sushi

The next day we wanted to have lunch near the Hiroshima station as then it would be easy to take the train to Kyoto. We googled this good okonomiyaki place called Kasane Gasane, but it took us like 20 minutes to find it. Just across the station there is a 6-floor building, which looks like a half-abandoned office and pachinko place, but after a while we took an elevator to the 6th floor, which turned out to be a huge food court type of place with several small restaurants. When we came in, there was barely anyone in, but when we left, most of the places were full. It also seems that some bigger tourist groups were brought here for lunch as well, but we did enjoy our okonomiyaki very much. It was also cool to watch it being prepared from scratch.

133_Kasane Gasane
Kasane Gasane
136_Kasane Gasane
Kasane Gasane

Unfortunately, due to the rain, we didn’t have the chance to see as much of Hiroshima as we would have liked, but the food was the best on our trip. I think I would go back there again just to eat. 😀

But now it was time to go to Kyoto, which meant that we took a shinkansen train to Osaka and then changed to another one from Osaka to Kyoto, which was only about 15 min ride away.

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