Radioactive okonomiyaki - Hiroshima-style!
Hiroshima Travel Blog› entry 7 of 15 › view all entries
I woke up late. Not surprising after being unable to sleep early...
My luggage was already divided up between what I was leaving behind in Tokyo and what I will bring on my 5 day trip south. After a quick shower, dropped off my luggage for storage and check out, I caught the Yamanote Line to Tokyo Station to catch the shinkansen.
I completely missed my 8am shinkansen train to Hiroshima by 30 mins and ended up asking for another time, an hour later. That JR Ticket Office lady did not look happy. Gomen ne~
While I was waiting for my train to arrive, I walked around the train station, looking for macha KitKat.
I waited at the platform, eating my sandwiches, drinking my venti hot cocoa with whipped cream, and the train arrived. I didn't rush. Oh no, I have a reserved seat ticket - by the window. After all, it's a 3.
As the train pulled away from the station - quietly - ah the Japanese techonology and efficiency, I slowly dozed off.
I woke up 15 minutes before the train arrived in Shin-Osaka station. For some reason, I thought that the connecting train I will be taking to Hiroshima will be in the same platform - but no! I only realized this after waiting there for almost 10 mins and when I finally left the platform to find the correct platform. Duh?!!?
The screen lighted up and the train # and platform was shown. It was just another platform over, so up the escalator I went but I could've easily missed it since I wasn't paying attention and read my train ticket carefully and properly.
Luckily, I still had 10 minutes before the train arrived in the station so I really wasn't pressed for time. As I waited for the train, I started browsing through the stores along the platform. Oh no! Temptation, again! A wide array of bento boxes lined the glass windows of the stores. Yum ~ tempura, maki, curry ~ all beautifully combined and presented in their own boxes. Resist, I cannot! This time, I surrendered - quite easily I may add - and bought a bento box. I always saw Japanese people bring a bento box and eat them during the train ride. With a tall can of beer, at that. So I thought, 'Why not me?' Minus the beer, of course.
The train arrived. The Hikari RailStar connects Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima to Hakata in Kyushu. I happily boarded the train and took my reserved seat. I ate my bento box which was a delight and enjoyed the view as the high speed train zooms pass the Japanese suburbs and countryside.
I arrived in Hiroshima Station just before 3pm. I feel quite lost. I looked at the map, looked up to the signs, and followed the crowd exiting the station. I looked for the tram.
I bought a ticket for the tram line (#2 or #6) for Dobashi Station, close to the hostel I was staying, J-Hoppers Trad Hiroshima.
After arriving at the station, I started walking north only to realized I was walking the opposite way. Thankfully, it was only a block away ad I easily oriented myself to the the directions and easily enough with the map they provided, the hostel was easy to locate.
J-Hopper Trad Hiroshima is clean with friendly English speaking staff, conveniently close to the station and supermartket. I checked in easily in a 4-person traditional tatami room. Although I've stayed in tatami rooms before, it was never with 3 other strangers so I was quite excited, especially since I will be staying there for 2 nights. The rooms shared 3 showers and toilet - clean and well-kept.
I was tired from the train ride. So I decided to just hang out for a couple of hours in the hostel, planning my itinerary for the next day and chatted with a staff who recently just backpacked her way through the U.S.A. Over cups of hot green tea and manju, I browsed through their binders full of recommended restaurants with English menu and information about the area, such as a public house, supermarkets, and the like.
I walked out with a map in hand and my guidebook. The streets was quiet with the occasional soft screech of the tracks as the tram passed by. A few locals was walking home. Some of the shops have closed. I noticed a okonomiyaki restaurant still open and a few hole-in-the-wall izakayakas. I reached the main street and turned right, continued walking towards the bridge.
Lighted up amidst the darkness, it was a solemn view to see the A-Dome. The Atomic Dome is the only infrastructure that survived the atomic blast so close to the ground zero (the T-bridge). I actually couldn't help but take a pause and said a little prayer for the lives lost that day and those who were later affected from the blast and radiation in the days and years to come.
But first - the famous okonomiyaki Hiroshima-style for dinner!
The hostel has a list of recommend restaurants in the area, after asking the staff, they recommend one place for okonomiyaki. So on my way back, I decided to go to the okonomiyaki place. It was easy to locate, it being on the main street, and I was warmly greeted and seated on the counter. I recognized a couple who was staying at the hostel as well, and chatted with them over beer - Asahi - while the chef made our Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.
After dinner, I returned to the hostel, and met Miki, one of the girls staying in my room. We chatted a bit and decided to sightsee around the city together the next day. I went to sleep after a shower and looked forward to seeing Hiroshima and Miyajima.