A Travellerspoint blog

May 2019

Octopus Balls

So when you travel Shinkansen you don’t really get any travel days to chill & catch up since it’s so fast. On one trip we went up a little rise and I thought we were taking off.

Today the Shinkansen brought us to Osaka where we will spend the next few days, we arrived around midday but weren’t offered early check in so we ditched our bags to explore our new neighbourhood. We stumbled across a small restaurant selling Chinese, no English menu but the lady was so helpful & spoke enough English (honestly some of these little 6 table places hidden where the locals know where to find them have been the best meals). I had what I think was the best fried rice I’ve had in a long time, even ate it with chopsticks, I must have done well cause I think the lady complimented me on it. We did eventually get to check in time and were thankful for a few hours chilling.

One thing we thought we should try in Osaka is Tako-yaki or as we refer to them octopus balls. They are a doughy dumpling stuffed with octopus (I pulled mine out I find octopus here to be like eating rubber) that are grilled in special made moulds. They are molten hot in the centre & a little gooey but you they were kinda alight.



We brought a Japanese gin to try only to find they don’t actually have tonic here, there’s an ingredient in there that they don’t like yet you can buy a premix....go figure. After googling we found what we thought was tonic but it’s not the same.


This is the view from our hotel, probably the only night we’ve seen the sunset we’re usually crashed out exhausted by then.

Posted by ChristieA 02:42 Archived in Japan Tagged food japan train Comments (0)

Oysters & Momiji Manjyu

I have a gripe with people staying in hostels, I get that you come in late that’s fine but seriously do you need to go through every plastic bag in your bag......numerous times???? Anyway whinge over this has been our home for the past few nights

Since everyone else was up early in the dorm we headed off to Miyajima, took a street car & the ferry to get there and the weather well it was overcast and we did have some light rain but it didn’t stop us. We roamed the streets for a while, so many souvenir shops we soon got sick of them and the deer roaming the island well they just blended in after a while.


We braved the crowds (mostly tour groups) and walked around The Itsukushima shrine as the tide started to go out.


And why does anyone go to Miyajima....to see the O-Torii Gate of course, we were there long enough to see it before & after the tide went out. Sadly it really does look like it’s in a dire need of a good paint job but this is one of my favourite photos, you can see the size of it with the people around.

There was also the Daigan-Ji temple nearby we took a quick look at.


It felt like we were doing the hike but instead it was only a stroll to the ropeway, there was a sign that said 10mins, 7 if you run a little. Pretty sure distance is one of those things lost in translation. There’s two different cable cars that take you to the Shishiiwa observatory and of course this is when it decides to throw down some light rain, when we’re on top of a mountain. Since the views weren’t great we opted not to summit Mt Misen.


Now this is the point we start to get ‘hangry’ and we’ll we had been told to try the oysters, it’s what there known for and well when in Rome. I tried an oyster and well wasn’t that keen on it but still I ate it pretty sure the fact it was grilled & had been flavoured with sake helped hahaha


Another thing they are known for on Miyajima is Momiji Manjyu I guess it’s a biscuit with some kind of filling, well I had been told to try the deep fried version. So that’s a sponge cake with some filling (the pig I am tried two custard & cheese both great) then dipped in batter & deep fried.


Last night after been inspired all day I attempted another paper crane (don’t ask about my one the night before it was crane like that’s about it) to leave to join the thousands for the next peace Memorial Day in August.


Posted by ChristieA 01:06 Archived in Japan Tagged food japan temple animal asia shrine hiroshima Comments (0)

Sadako And The Thousand Paper Cranes

Today we explored the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, the place is quiet and a lot of memorials to see. My favourite of course the children’s memorial with its beautiful gold crane, surrounded by paper cranes and pictures made of cranes. We also went to the museum, that’s definitely a must do, they’ve done a really good job with the displays. I enjoyed the one about Sadako but they also had a special displays showing drawings by people showing there memories of the atom bomb, they were heart wrenching and worse to me than the photos. Anyway take a moment to think of the victims as you have a look at these photos.






We did stumble across a little shrine so we poked our heads in and glad a look.


Lucky Hiroshima is fairly flat because we’ve walk a long way today some 21,000+ steps but that was because we decided to see the Shukkeien-en Garden. Again an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city outside it’s walls.


Posted by ChristieA 00:55 Archived in Japan Tagged japan memorial garden asia Comments (0)

Crossing Another One of the List.

Since I read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes as a child I’ve wanted to visit Hiroshima and today I did. We left Himeji on the Shinkansen after a well needed sleep in, the first left of the train was fine we have reserved seats (if you get a JR Pass go get reserved seats takes a couple of minutes & worth it) but the second leg we didn’t (were talking 2 x 1/2 stints). We had to stand for the first 15 or so minutes before seats became available, it wasn’t too bad cause you knew you didn’t have far to go but.....

We’re staying at the Kawate-ya Hostel for the next few nights and it’s back to capsule bunk beds but the place is relatively new & the people running it seem like friendly people.


For lunch we opted to try what the lady at the hostel suggested now it was left, left & you’ll see the menu. Ok we can do this off we go & yup sure enough there was this little place, it had about 4 tables & well nothing in English. We google translated a couple of the pictures on the wall and went with the noodle soup & curry combo and oh it was good still no real idea what it was but good.

We opted to explore the castle for the afternoon, there is a shrine & a shop in the castle grounds. The castle itself has been rebuild and inside are some displays, however the five flights of stairs to the top wasn’t worth it. I thought we’d get a good view of the Peace Park but no there’s a sports dome in the way.




Tomorrow we’re off to the Peace Park

Posted by ChristieA 01:11 Archived in Japan Tagged japan castle hostel asia Comments (0)


Today we moved across to Himeji, our main aim to see the castle. You could see the castle as you came in on the train, it’s stunning. Thankfully Himeji is fairly flat, exploring the castle however is not. You have to remove your shoes (again thankful to be wearing socks) and climb the stairs often steep & a little slippery in socks. Inside is fairly plain not many displays or anything but the views were good.


We brought a combination ticket which included the Koko-en garden, a serene spot neat to the castle with lovely ponds & quiet areas.


Neither place was too busy but it was a little warm and they did mention it was hot to wear your hat over the loud speaker at the castle.

Bit of down time this afternoon so I’m chilling in front of the tv, what’s on you ask....sumo wrestling of course. Here’s one for you to ponder do sumo wrestlers do there mawashi lines (bikini lines)?

Posted by ChristieA 01:20 Archived in Japan Tagged japan garden castle unesco Comments (1)

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