In Hiroshima, you can get around by tram, which is pretty convenient as it goes to the main tourist destinations. These trams aren’t covered by the JR Pass though instead they offer a Day pass option which you’d easily make the most of. For the convenience during a day trip, it wasn’t too bad.
This is Alfred, he is a coke-aholic. Nah…. actually I’m proud of him that this was the only can/bottle of coke he had the whole trip.
There’s a different feel to every city in Japan that we visit, even the train stations are different. Luckily, there’s plenty of signs… which is the important thing.
I’ve visited the atomic bomb site during my last trip so this is my second time visiting since it is Alfred’s first time in Japan. Till this day it still feels eerie to look at. Though it amazes me how everything else around it was pretty much rebuilt from scratch after the incident.
Sadako & a thousand paper cranes has to be one of my favourite stories from my Primary school. I even attempted to make 1000 paper cranes myself… almost emptying out my classroom’s supply of coloured square papers. But was probably off by 100 or so. Its amazing seeing all these handmade creations by children from around the world displayed around this space.
Next stop…. was meant to be the Mazda Museum. We got as far as the Mazda HQ in Mukainada (few stops from Hiroshima station) to find that we were meant to make a reservation online in advance AND be there by 10AM to board the company coach bus that takes you to the actual Mazda factory far far away. The tour would be between 10AM and return by 2PM including travel time. The boy was looking forward to this part of the trip quite a bit, being able to see cars get manufactured.. 🙁
People must be obsessed about Mazda here, here’s a clinic/hospital called Zoom Zoom.
Onwards to the rest of today’s plans…. to Miyajima Island! I also been here previously but felt it was a place I wouldn’t mind returning to because its simply a beautiful place.
There were deers every where! They nibble on just about everything… including paper.
I got the mentaiko one while Alfred got octopus, I love this stuff! Great snack to have as you wander around especially when its still hot 🙂
Don’t know why but wooden rice scoops are everywhere in the island, must have some significance here. Largest wooden scoop I’ve seen.
I bought a red dharma during my last trip, I added another 2 to my collection… there are 7 to collect!
Grilled oysters are another popular snack to have in Miyajima
Finally lunch time! We picked this little restaurant because it seemed to have a good variety of udon… (felt like udon). I love how their menu has illustrations of the dishes!
The reason why people visit Miyajima Island.. to see this amazing “floating” torii gate. When the tides are low enough you can walk up to it, which is when you’d realise how massive it is!
This is called momiji manju, which basically is a maple leaf shaped cake usually filled with red bean paste or other flavours like green tea. They are the local specialty of Miyajima? or Hiroshima… traveling around Japan you come to realise each city has their own specialties, how Osaka is famous for their takoyaki.
I got the custard one to try. I wish I could come home with a box of each local specialty we come across but luggage limit was always a worry 🙁
Snacked on a giant rice cracker, still warm!
We didn’t stay in Hiroshima/Miyajima too long and managed to get back to Osaka by around 6PM. We didn’t reserve tickets for the shinkansen ride back so had to allow alot of time for traveling, especially we had a pretty exciting appointment that night.
A date with marbly Kobe beef….
We had NO plans of trying Kobe beef before we left for Japan, until we googled around to see what food we should try, the thought of sample kobe beef sounded like a great idea although have to make sure that we find an eatery that actually serves kobe beef. From our searches, Misono came up quite a bit being one of the best places to try Kobe beef. I don’t doubt that. They cook on specially made stove tops which is meant to cook the steak perfectly while keeping it nice and tender on the inside. Also theyare the original founders of teppanyaki beef. Their original branch is in Kobe but we weren’t going to visit Kobe since there weren’t many exciting reviews about things to see there. Luckily Misono has a few branches in Japan including one in Osaka, just a few minutes walk from Osaka station.
Our reservation was at 8:30 but we arrived over an hour earlier, luckily they had earlier spots available so that cut off a bit of time from out countdown..
They had a few courses which you can choose from, we mainly wanted to just try the Kobe beef so went for the “Mi” course. The difference between Mi and the rest of the course was mainly getting seafood and/or abalone. The Mi course costed ¥15,120… which converts to about au$170~ per person
Got our appetite started with this cured ham dish, complimentary I believe.
Each table gets their own chef to cook in front of them, teppanyaki style.
Just realised we only got one piece of steak to share between two. Look at the marbling!!
So much art involved in cooking everything that night, perfectly cut blocks of kobe beef was served up before us. Each block is worth atleast $10 I reckon.
Onion, fatty bits, and beef!
This is the other highlight of the night, their garlic fried rice was so good! So simple… but I doubt we could recreate this at home. I initially thought they would’ve used the flavours from the kobe beef to cook this but nope, they just use another serve of garlic and stir fried it with rice. Garlic is meant to be the perfect accompaniment to beef, hence the garlic rice.
One of the two melt-in-your-mouth experiences that we had from the trip. It really feels like you’re eating blocks of fat… but without feeling guilty afterwards 😛
It was interesting to watch their process of cleaning the hot plates! They get it back to a shiny condition in minutes, ready for the next customers.
For $170… it really sounds like a crazy overpriced meal just for a piece of steak and small side dishes. I am sure you can sample kobe beef for less but I wouldn’t be too sure of the quality of the meat that they serve. Since it wouldn’t be something we eat all the time AND because I couldn’t get a booking at one of the michellin star restaurants, this was meant to make up for my disappointment. It did make my list of foodie highlights from the trip, so I guess it was well worth it!
If you’re interested to check this place out, take the train to Osaka station, the closest exit to here would be E-34 (quite a long walk under ground). Just keep an eye out for this (hideous) spotty lights building, the restaurant is on level 3.
Next post…. we’re off to Hakone!
Come back in a bit 😉
Day 01 – Arriving in Tokyo, straight to Osaka. Night out at Namba & Dotonbori.
Day 02 – Kyoto daytrip (Fushimi Inari shrine, Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto Gogyo ramen, Nishiki Market, Ginza, Maruyama Park, Philosophers Walk, Ninenzaka & Zanenzaka, Katsukura
Day 03 – Exploring Osaka (Osaka Castle Park, Osaka Aquarium)
Day 04 – Hiroshima daytrip (Atomic Bomb site, Mazda HQ, Miyajima island) Osaka – Kobe Misono
Dear Clarissa, I would just like to ask you about the JR Pass. It says on the website that it only covers major stations in Japan? Does that mean you cannot ride around Osaka for example Shinsaibashi, nippombashi, Tennoji stations? I have never been to Japan before but I am planning to visit this April/May because I want to see the Sakura trees!!!
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