So finally our time in Japan was coming to an end and it was time to move on from Myoko and embark on our 10 days of exploring some other areas of Honshu, Japan’s South Island. Kyoto was our first destination for a quick overnight night stop, unfortunately not for longer as it seemed like a great city and we had heard lots of great things about it, but Hiroshima was calling and we were excited about visiting this infamous city.
Accomodation…….Can’t believe we done it again!!😩
I looked up a booking site, entering the details, 2 adults, 2 children ages 11 and 8, so a room that sleeps 4, yep can’t be to hard. The pictures of accommodation came up with prices, better change the price range to tight budget price, click, ok that’s more our price range. Up comes the symbol of 4 people 👨👩👧👧 next to the hotels that are available and so the researching began.
I studied the rooms bed sizes and when I saw two beds both with two pillows side by side I thought yep that’s perfect. The location was excellent, right on the river and a room with a view. The price was right, so after about an hour or so just looking in Hiroshima I selected our hotel and paid for it.
We arrived mid-afternoon and were greeted by the lovely staff, it looked upmarket, so far, so good. We walked into our room and we had 2 king single beds, arghhhhhh not again, we couldn’t even sleep side ways this time. After talking to reception we came to the reality that unless we wanted to fork out more money and not just a couple of hundred we were going to have to sleep two up, one adult, one child.
It seems that that’s just the Japanese way, children the same age as ours co-sleep with their parents or siblings, also they are smaller than us so probably is more comfortable. I suggest if you book accommodation put in an older age so you can get bigger or more beds. Oh well character building/bonding time, something like that 😩.
That was the only complaint about the hotel, the location was perfect, only a 15 min walk to the peace memorial park and on the way there, we walked up some authentic Japanese streets. There are a lot of little restaurants and to some people’s delight strip clubs, yes that’s right. I even saw one club advertising for some new girls, I know what you are thinking and yes I would’ve been great but my legs were a little hairy and My eyebrows needed some detailing, so I decided my interview wouldn’t go to well at this time and was best left to the younger, well groomed girls that hadn’t had two kids and looking a little stressed, besides I’m also to old for a working visa, so that definitely would have been the main reason for not employing me. None the less, Cam was very impressed with my booking……. right in the middle of the red light district!🤣
People: Wow, I can not say one bad word about the Japanese people, they are the most friendliest and generous people. You may have seen Cams posts and in my last blog about our 60 yo friend Tet. He and his wife delivered us the biggest spread for both dinner and breakfast, we left there not needing to eat for a day. The generous amount of time he gave to the girls and especially Cam giving them lessons with their skiing was unbelievable. Taking Cam back country on two occasions was quite an adventure and experience. We visited his shack again with friends Glenno the “Oil King” as Tet called him due to where he works and his mate Ray. Handing out drinks, sake, beer, shochu, and then giving the girls a bag of treats to eat on the train rides to Hiroshima. He even said to Cam that the girls could come and have a home stay with them in 2nd school.
Another example was an older couple cooking egg rolls on the street in Kyoto who stopped us and wanted to cook us all a sample, not for any money or expecting us to buy just because, he gave the girls a small tomato each to try saying they were super sweet and they were very delicious and sweet.
Dinner that night was at a bbq place that cooked chicken and pork skewers in a variety of bodily parts 🤭🤢, the ones we ordered were yummy and when we left, again the generosity of the owner as she chased us out the door offering Ilueka and Marcee an ice cream each.
The people really are amazing.
Transportation: Our first day in Japan was very daunting but now after being able to communicate a little better we are finding it a lot easier.
The trains are amazing, spot on time every time. All the staff are helpful and will direct you to the right platform if you need help and if you miss your train there will be another one in 2 mins or so.
Food: I’m loving it, the variety and the element of surprise as sometimes we have no idea what we’re eating, like Conga eel, wasn’t overly fussed on that one but we gave it a try.
Most places have English menus, if not there are pictures and you can guesstimate what your ordering. Most dishes are also huge. Cam an I ordered a Ramen 🍜 to share, it was a perfect size for 2. We also ordered an Okonomiyaki on Miyajima island and it was plenty big enough for us to share.
The sashimi was was delicious, but Cam was not overly fussed for it, his saying is “if it’s not cooked, it’s bait” at least he tried it.
Hiroshima is a beautiful place, but very humbling. The museum was confronting but, very interesting as I don’t think I realised the full impact of the bomb. The girls found it sad and Marcee was quite taken back by it, commenting that “I hope it never happens again”, we all hope this is never repeated again. The following day we went to a small island called Miyajima island. It’s a beautiful place.
We left there and endured a 5 hour trip on the bullet train, reaching a speed of 280km/hr, they’re amazing machines, we could’ve sat an egg on our table and it barely would’ve moved.
At last every kids dream came true and we went to Disney Land, a belated Christmas present for Ilueka and Marcee but worth it. We arrived at 8.30am and quickly made our way to book fast passes so we didn’t have to wait to long in line.
Our first major ride was thunder mountain and the line was already nearly a 2hour wait at 11am but with our pass we waited about 20 mins. The line ups for nearly anything were amazing, even to buy the flavoured popcorn was about a half hour wait, very testing for Cam but we were very proud of him, mind you he did say “nah, we’re skipping that one” quite a few times!
The whole day was amazing, the parades and the grand finale I felt like a little kid again hearing the Disney music.
The following day was spent at Shibuya, Shinjuku and Harajuku. We went to one of the busiest streets I’ve ever seen, Takeshita St, it was shoulder to shoulder with people and nothing in particular to see. We also went to one of the busiest crossings in the world in Shibuya, we possibly contributed to the number of people by crossing it 3-4 times just for the experience and to try and get that right picture.
The next we went to Ueno and our first stop was the Ameyoko street market, one of Japan’s most famous markets with lots of stores, street food (chicken gizzards were accidentally ordered but not eaten) and fresh produce.
The Ueno Zoo was a little disturbing, some of the animals were in poor health and very little room to move in their pens. I’m not sure about most people their but my face was pretty well screwed up the whole way around and kinda wished I wasn’t their. We unfortunately didn’t see the panda 🐼 the line up was 50 minutes and I’m sorry but I was not lining up anymore, and even I did it wouldn’t of mattered as Cam had already said “nope, we’re skipping that one”😂
Overall our time traveling Japan was a great experience for all of us. We met some beautiful people, to many to name but you know who you are and we thank you again for your generosity.
So now we are home back in Oz, reunited with Sprout, (I’ll fill you in on him next time) and traveling north. We’re very excited to be on the road and can’t wait for our next adventure.