Trip Start May 08, 2010
Trip End May 25, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Japan  , Chugoku,
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I actually surprised myself by getting up at 5.45 to watch the monks pray at 6.30. In the hondo (prayer room) the air was quite thick with incense and after they chanted we got to walk up t each alter to say our own prayers and scatter some ash on the embers. I'm really glad I took part in it all. Straight after was a brilliant japanese breakfast, probably the best start to a day possible. After wandering round the garden again taking in yet more photos, we set off for Hiroshima. First was the bus to the cable car, and that took us to the train for Osaka station. I miss that place already :) even after 1 day. We stopped for lunch, and I had a huge set lunch of a mountain of soba buckwheat noodles with a delicious dipping sauce, inari (fried tofu) sushi rolls, pickles and gorgeous tempura. So good but so much of it! We then went on *dadadadadaaa* the bullet train!! and the ride was smother than a baby's bu, hardly like you were moving, and only 1 abd a half hours from Osaka to Hiroshima. If only everywhere was connected by bullet train!! The time went so fast as well :D the un was shining in hiroshima, as we got into our taxis it looked really beautiful. Ridiculously clean city, though. I'm talking spotless. But I can never find any bins! We walked around the monuments, and say the '1000 paper cranes' an the a-dome where the atomic bomb hit. It was emotional, but if I go to the peace museum tomorrow I think it will be really worthwhile and eye-opening. The weather was so lovely, I had a wak around before we met up for Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. I can guarrantee that (unless you were on the tour too) you will NEVER have even seen anything like this before. It's part omelette, part fried noodles, and the rest stuff like bacon, beansprouts, seafood, worcestershire-style sauce called bulldog sauce, seaweed flakes etc etc. And freaking HUGE. It did just about defeat me I'm afraid, but afterwards I had a green tea and cookie dessert to make up for it :) the okonomiyaki cookwas so funy (we were actually eating in 'okonomiyaki-mura', a whole complex of restaurants dedicated to this completely bizarre food), he worshipped a japanse popsinger who i can only describe as their version of cliff richard. A recording of ne of his concerts was playing (probably on a loop) the whole time we were eating. And the chef seemed to have an obsession with being able to say 'welcome' in every language known to man, which i find realy heart-warming, if not a bit weird. Every place I've visited so far has had its own totally distinct personality, but parts of hiroshima remind me of the funky fashion district of harajuku in tokyo. Well I'm all noodled out, so I'd better sleep (the hotel is right by the peace monuments, and quite nice too, though it could still do with a monk's foot warmer :D

Night! xxxx
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