Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Around Hiroshima.

When my company asked me if I'd be up for teaching in Hiroshima for a week, I delightfully accepted, since I adore this city... and what's not to love about an all expenses paid upscale hotel, Shinkansen ride, and food money? Yes, please. And at this point, anything that involves getting out of dear ol' Marugame is happily welcomed.

My dreams of revisiting the A-Bomb Dome and once again petting the tame deer at Miyajima were quickly shattered when I found out I wouldn't be staying right in the city, but in a small town of the prefecture called Onomichi. Turns out Onomichi is a slightly more run down and less exciting version of Marugame, but I had such a lovely time regardless. Exploring a new place is always compelling and intoxicating, and I took a small day trip to nearby Fukuyama, making the most fun out of it. I've seen Hiroshima before, so as long as I can easily access Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (with the added noodles), I'll be just fine...

Hiroshima city is wonderful and special, and the rest of the prefecture is equally beautiful: very mountainous and steep, traditional with lots of temples and castles, bordering the picturesque Inland Sea, complete with autumn trees bearing gorgeous shades of gold and orange.

A relaxing few days on my own, meeting some sweet, well-mannered students (a surprising change from my usual rural Shikoku students, who seem to be a bit more rough around the edges and sassy- that's how I grew to love them), and taking in some scenic and quaint scenery:

{Shinkansen ride. The Fukuyama Starbucks had an amazing view of the tracks, guess where I spent countless hours watching the bullets go by...}

{My hotel room. I made a mess on the first day. Thank goodness for the internet and some wine.}

{Onomichi Port. The view from my hotel room. Not bad.}

{Onomichi. Can you spy the castle? It could easily be Marugame!}

{Bright torii gate downtown Fukuyama.}

{Charming little stone-paved streets in Fukuyama, makes for a charming afternoon stroll.}

{Another castle, in Fukuyama I'm starting to think they all look the same... I think I've been spoiled having the Marugame castle right in my backyard.}

{Gorgeous, crisp autumn day on the castle grounds. November is the most beautiful and colorful month in Japan!}

{Sorry Osaka, but Hiroshima style okonomiyaki is better than the Kansai style one, with the soba noodles that add extra deliciousness.}

Hiroshima. Ironically the most peaceful place in Japan, oh so beautiful, unique and charming.

Hiroshima, my love.


{lovely little things} said...

Hi Vivian-
Love the new blog header - that is my fave Japanese wood block print!!

Your trip looks fun - I loved hiroshima Okonomiyaki (much better than the Osaka original in my opinion).

Thanks for all the engagement wishes, we are over the moon! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Lauren London said...

Wow, these are such beautiful photos! I love your blog. Keep on posting!

-Lauren in Cali

Nicole Marie said...

such pretty fall leaves!!

and yes please move to california!!!!

hoihoi51 said...

you should go to Tamonoura,Fukuyama

Isabel said...

Onomichi was where we finished that big bicycle trip...I love that city, even though there's not that much there - it's so quaint and lovely. Ans did you see the Mr Peanut shop?!

French lover said...

Next time you go, give me a call and I'll join you !

if only I could..

Leah said...

My favorite cafe in all of Japan is in Onomichi!! Did you happen to go there? It's on the second story of the shotengai--not sure what it's called though. I taught Yoshi how to play scrabble there.. ha

Vivian said...

Leah!! I had no idea you went to Onimichi... but now it makes sense, with the bike trip... Unfortunately I did not go to that café, I avoided the shotengai because I thought there would be nothing there... too bad!!