Hiroshima to Takayama


We got up early and spent the morning at Miyajima, a small island near Hiroshima. What a beautiful place! If we had time, I wish we could have spent a night on the island. Lovely little shops and food stands and lots of temples and home to the famous floating tori gate. It was a beautiful day. So far the weather has been amazing for us in Japan. We have been very fortunate, especially since we've only been spending one day in each place.

"floating" torii gate at Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Lots of deer on Miyajima also

If we had more time we also would have gone to the top of Mt, Misen there which has hiking trails, spectacular views and monkeys! We wandered around the incredibly cute streets of Miyajima. We stumbled across a sweet shop making Momiji manju cakes. I had read that Miyajima is the best place to get these treats. They are little cakes shaped like maple leaves with bean filling inside. Miyajima is also known for its beautiful Japanese maples so you see a lots of maple symbols around the town. They are made in a cool momiji manju making machine! This might even top the mini donut machine!!!

We grabbed a couple to munch. They were freshly made and still super hot!

Chris hanging out with one of the many many statues on Miyajima

Funny sign we saw

Miyajima Maples!

We headed back to Hiroshima and spent the last couple hours at the Peace Memorial Museum and park.

A-Bomb Dome

The museum area and park take up a huge area in the middle of town. Lots of people strolling along and having picnics in the park and so so many tourists. The museum was packed. What a sad and horrifying event. The before/after models of the city are so shocking. The initial blast totaled all buildings within a 2km radius almost instantly.

Picture inside the museum of the area after the blast

Peace Park with A-Bomb Dome in the background

Lots of people having picnics in the park

Then it was time to head back to the train station. We walked through the city center to take in all the stores and blinky lights and videos and loudspeaker announcements. I only wish we had time to stop and try Hiroshima style okonomiaki! Oh well, we will have to have some traditional style okonomiaki in Osaka.

We headed to Takayama, which is pretty far away. Probably our longest train journey yet. On our last leg, there was an older man behind us who was coughing or choking a lot, so Chris gave him a halls. Later on, he insisted we turn our seats around to face each other and drink whiskey with him! It was very funny and awkward, we Chris and I were trying to use Heidi's phrasebook and google translate to converse with him. It took us almost half an hour to figure out he wanted to know where we were staying in Takayama and that we could share a taxi, haha. I really wish we could speak Japanese!

We finally arrived in Takayama after 10pm and walked 3 mins to our hotel. The hotel staff informed us that the hotel was overbooked, and would we mind moving to a different hotel the next night because of the Takayama Matsuri (spring festival) in town. We normally would have, but this was our first 2 night stay since Kyoto and we were really looking forward to not having to pack up after one day. We had also paid a fortune just to get a hotel room in the city during the festival, so we didn't move. Eeep!


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