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Travel Tips for Nara | #travelkansai

Oh the attention i'm getting! Stop it ya'll *blush*  Can't believe i'm actually sharing this post but yeah..think dee...

Hiroshima | Miyajima

Hiroshima Port

Okay i've listened to you guys and thank you so much for voting! So Hiroshima it is but a fair warning before you guys proceed because there's tons of photos this round so loading might take some time but i do apologize for it!
I tried my best to filter out as much as possible but it seems almost rather impossible because the pictures alone speaks more than the story i'll be sharing today but i really do hope you enjoy them as if you are visiting Hiroshima but through my blog :)

Back to the #travelkansai series though Hiroshima is not exactly in Kansai Region anymore, it's more like the tip of setouchi already lo. If you have followed Cheeserland's recent Japan post then you would have heard of Setouchi region.
The whole initial trip is to see how far i can go within 5 days and still within Kansai (lah) and of course utilizing the Kansai-Hiroshima pass as much as possible to get your money's worth. To be honest as long you managed to come this far alone with that pass you have basically already succeeded in saving tons on transportation fees!


HUGE SAVINGS


It is possible to travel from Osaka to Hiroshima for only 2,700 yen!

One way on the Shinkansen costs approximately 10,000 yen so both ways is already easily 20,000 yen ++ and the JR Kansai- Hiroshima pass only costs you 13,500 yen (if book online, buy on the spot costs14,500 yen) for 5 days pass. Sounds pretty darn worth it right?
So we divide the cost of the pass with 5 days and we get 2,700 yen a day for transportation.
For the exact full cost of travelling to Hiroshima can be found on this website, so it gives you a rough idea of how much you are actually saving from this post of mine :)

I do understand that traveling to Japan can be costly especially if it's unplanned because getting around costs alot and each wrong station you get off is gonna be a painful reminder to be more careful that's why Japan came up with more value for money solution which can also act as a live saver for people like me who have no sense of direction and ALWAYS get on & off the wrong platform. 

I'm just careless that way. heh.

But yea if you are feeling rather spontaneous like me, everything was unplanned just hop on the train and see where it takes you next (as long within you train pass coverage la) then i would highly recommend to get those daily, weekly train passes.


When traveling on a Shinkansen, getting a bento is a must for a complete travel experience!
You can grab one at one of the bento stores stationed outside the Shinkansen gates, they have more variety compared to the ones sold on the platform booths. Prices range from 500 yen onwards, for a complete set like mine costs about 800 yen. Considered "cheap" already la but there are more lavish ones with crab, kobe beef, lobsters and most stuff i am allergic to (sadly lol). 


The day started off rather gloomy, it was raining as i left my dorm to the station and not you average rain too because rains in Japan tend to last throughout the whole day. Something every traveler would dread because you can't see much with rain and i was worried as well since i need to take the ferry to where i was heading to. No titanic scene no worries, short 10 minutes ferry ride jer.
Managed to bring Mariko along with me throughout this trip, remember how i got her ashes and my breast milk made into an accessory by Mementos? I wear it now daily close to my heart because it's the only time i feel safe even i'm alone in foreign country.



MISSION OF THE DAY


My plan for the day was to visit Hiroshima, of all places why there?
Well, as long it's a prefecture i WILL try my best to visit it because who wouldn't want to visit and explore all corners of Japan. A country that's so rich with history, culture and food, that each prefecture makes you feel like you are in a whole new world.   The term "same but no same" literally applies here because you are still in the same country but however each of them (prefecture) have their own specialty to boast about, you'll never get enough of Japan seriously. 
I don't blame people when they get "Post-Japan Blues" or complain about having left their hearts there lol.

As a huge history buff kind of person, Hiroshima has always been one of my MUST visit destinations aside from Nagasaki as well (will probably say hi to Mama Cheese, Papa Line bear, Junya & Sakuwa-chan if they are there at that time lol)   If you noticed these are the 2 most notable historical sites in Japan because of the Atomic bomb during world war II. Something the world is not proud of but to the rest of us who visit is to pay respect to the those who have lost their lives during the tragedy and also pray for peace.

This is what happens when you grew up watching and reading more documentaries than comics because your old man is subscribed to National Geographic society lol.

Just so you know there's been a couple of dejavu moments when i arrived here in Hiroshima, if you have watched the movie "The Wolverine (2013)" then you would probably understand some of the references here πŸ˜‚ was told many times that at one point i looked like the actress Tao Okamoto because i was super skinny (35kg) and had that angular features that resembles her signature look 😏



JR PASS HOLDER PERKS

Remember in my previous Kobe post when i mentioned that this pass came with some (free) perks?
This was one of it as well, free ferry ride for all Japan Rail Pass holders!
Just show the counter your pass and you may proceed to the port to board the ferry, which is usually on schedule unless there are some weather delays.

Getting to Miyajimaguchi Station (ferry pier is about 5 mins walk away) from Hiroshima station, you'll need to take the JR Sanyo line (410 yen one way) which is of course covered by the JR pass. It's longer distance and time compared to other alternatives on the private lines but if you do not want to spend extras then patience is virtue in this matter.


Just show this pass at the counter and you can proceed to board the ship, it's free seating by the way. Most would just stand by the deck to take pictures.

I've noticed vehicles boarding as well 



ARRIVING AT MIYAJIMA

Doesn't take too long to reach Miyajima island, once you get unto the ferry and start taking pictures and by the time you put down your camera is the time when you need to get off already lol.
This island has been a  famous tourist spot for most visitors who are visiting for the day, that is if you are quick with your explorations this island can be easily covered within half a day unless you are someone who walks as slow as i do, then it takes a wee bit more longer than expected.

Every step takes my breath away, the skies, the sea, the salty breeze, the overall atmosphere is something i don't mind waking up to everyday and if given a chance to pick a retirement home, i'll make sure it's near the sea.
By that time doubt i would care much about my hair being flat from the salty air breeze lol, oh if you guys who so rajin to style hair like me, please do take note and don't bother styling it for this trip because the wind and humidity is just gonna flatten your hair the minute it's exposed to. Tying up is the best at this point πŸ˜‚


Looks somewhat familiar eh?

My meal of the day lol but yea too busy taking pictures and didn't take notice of the hunger

Quite yummy slow roasted chikuwa fish cake from one of the random side stores. If you noticed that this fishcake is slight more different than the usual one (usually it's white on both ends with a hint of brown in the middle) it's because Hiroshima's specialty is chikuwa made form Seto Island Sea Conger Eel- Anago Chikuwa
Should try this, it's abit more chewy, but so satisfying to just chew on it all day lol.


My best friend because it's really sunny here after the brief rain earlier in the morning. Kinda became like 2 shades darker after this outing but luckily i wasn't burnt, highly recommend Sarafit UV sunblock because it's really lightweight and absorbs really quickly too. Please do wear sunblock, as it can get really hot especially since it's near the sea


The Great Torii

There are a few locations you can take a photo with the great Torri Gate without much people like from the side or even from the shrine's pier but to go in the shrine there is an entry fee of 500 yen


There's gonna be alot of tourists so you are not going to get a clear shot of these floating torii gates (unless you pro in photoshop lol) 

So majestic

Yep, what i meant by surrounded with tourists lol


Tried to get a non-photobomb shot of the Torii gate with me in it from the side but go photobombed by a deer instead lol.

Like finally after God knows how many attempts just to get a decent shot, everything is done on timer and tripod because sadly i don't have an instagram boyfriend to help me take shots ok. At least i perfected the art of self photography and "syiok sendiri-ness" πŸ˜‚


"Momijidani"

At one point i was seriously considering of naming my kid "momiji" until i realised that those who know the meaning of her name would probably make fun of it and who on earth is sane enough to name a child after a "maple leaf"? lol

Miyajima is known to have one of the most beautiful autumn foliage in Japan, that's why their signature manju (rice cake) is shaped like a maple leaf as well. Since this place is mostly covered with mountains and maple trees, you can easily imagine the whole place in hues of red, yellow and orange every October till end of November. There are hiking trails (Momijidani park) for you to fully enjoy the scenery or if you are too tired to walk there are also shuttle bus services with a 30 min interval 


During summer everything is green, can't wait to see them turn red

Bus stop for those lazy to walk up


Momiji shaped Manju, red bean filling inside and you know what this rice cake taste reminds me of?
Our Malaysian kuih bahulu with kancang merah inti lol i kid you not because i brought back some of these for my family members and they said the same too!! 
A must get souvenir of Miyajima island. 


View of The Inland Sea

Trip to Miyajima would not be complete till you have reached the top of Mount Misen (via cable car), this was the best RM70 spent, a view that's beyond breathtaking. A complete view of the Seto inland sea and you can view a few places from here. Squint hard enough you'll see Hiroshima, Etajima, Nomija and Kure City over the horizon. While on the sea clear as day are surrounding islands like Enoshima, Ninoshima, Nasajima, Kokurokamijima, Okurokamijima, and Atatajima.




Miyajima Ropeway

Costs 1,800 yen round trip, you can opt for 1-way if you are planning to hike down. 
It's 1000 yen for 1 way


Reikado temple has a flame that's said to burn continuously since the time spiritual leader Kobo Daishi lit it. This flame is also used to light the flame of peace at Hiroshima's peace park





View from the mountain top

This small picture doesn't do any justice to the actual view, right click and open it in a new tab to view the original picture.




So lucky to have found my shobon phone straps here! Been trying to collect them from every prefecture but it seems to be quite rare *sobs*



Goodbye Miyajima, till we meet again some day!
This was shot from the temple's pier 

Tide starts to come in around 5pm 

Damn you Logan for making me wait so long.



Shadows of the Past

Not sure if it's just me or the wind, there's just this explainable eerie feeling when i drop by Hiroshima Memorial park to briefly visit and pay my respect. The winds here were silent and still but yet you could still feel them not on your skin but within your bones. Don't think what i'm saying is making any sense but yea it was just a weird feeling.
I've seen pictures of this park during the day and it is equally beautiful as it stood before me in the dark. There is a memorial museum within the park's vicinity and a Cenotaph in between listed with the portraits and names of the victims who perished during the Hiroshima Atomic bomb attack. 


"Every year on the anniversary of the bomb, a ceremony is held at the park. Speeches are made, wreathes are laid at the Cenotaph, and a moment of silence is observed at 8:15 am, the precise moment of detonation." - Japan Guide


Getting here: 
  • From Hiroshimaeki station take the tram (Hiroshima Dentetsu No.1 ε„εœ towards Hiroshimako) to Hondori station
  • Walk 600 meters to Hiroshima memorial park 
  • Costs 180 yen

 
A-Bomb Dome, listed as  UNESCO World Heritage Site
How the dome stood strong despite the beatings it has endured, it's now a memory and a reminder of that 1945 tragedy that claimed hundreds of thousands of innocent lives

Not a great shot but that's all i could get with my Redmi Note 4 phone (Huawei was dead)





Stranded Outside the Whole Night


By the time i bid farewell to the monument i noticed that it was already 9pm and it takes at least 2.5 hours to get back to Osaka via shinkansen. I wasn't too worried about the bullet train because their last trains are usually around 11.30pm, my biggest concern was upon arriving at the station the local trains would have been already closed and so is the bus leaving me stranded outside unless i walked back and the distance according to google maps was roughly 6km. Should have just taken the freaking cab though it's expensive at least i would have saved myself the harassment i encountered while walking, seriously kns dude.

It all started when i boarded the shinkasen bound from Hiroshima to Osaka at exactly 9.30pm but it didn't budge even after 30 minutes later which was rather unusual. There wasn't any announcements so i thought they were just waiting for more people to board the train before moving. And it wasn't till 10.15pm when the conductor announced that there was a malfunction so everyone had to disembark and wait for the next train which was 30 minutes away, could see everyone was tired and wanted to just go back home. I for once understood how it felt like for Japanese businessmen who rely on the shinkansen to go to work daily and when unforeseen problems like this arises, sleep is no longer in the question. 
That explains alot why convenient stores here sell a fresh change of clothes in case those who can't make it home on time to bath and change would just buy a new shirt, freshen up and change in the convenience store toilet.

True enough by the time i arrived at Osaka station, everything was closed and i'm left with 40% battery juice, and that was because i managed to charge in the shinkasen.
I really thought that it wasn't too difficult to walk back since it's only a 45 mins walk away and not like i've never done that before, little did i expect to suddenly pick up a weirdo along the way.
First the fellow asked me if i was lost and i said no, i was heading back to my dorm in Namba and he started asking all sorts of questions, so here was how the conversation went:

Weirdo: So do you have a boyfriend? *while following me behind*
Me: No, i have a danna (husband) *thinking this reply would turn him off & send him on his way*
Weirdo: But you are not wearing your ring
Me: I'm worried of being robbed so i kept it away.
Weirdo: Hey.. what cup size are you?
Me : *acts stupid* tea cup?
Weirdo: Breast cup
Me: WTF, what kind of question is that?
Weirdo: Sorry! *continues walking behind me, think it's been about 300 meters*

*silence*

Weirdo: Do you want to have sex?
Me: I already said i have a danna! 
Weirdo: I know, but come follow me back.
Me: Get lost or i'll scream.

Weirdo finally gets the memo, backs off and walked away,i kept on looking over my shoulders to make sure he isn't following me anymore but really why the heck do i always attract the weird sorts? πŸ’’

That was another scary experience in Osaka, maybe i do need a real danna beside me after all to keep these pesky disgusting men away from me 😩

After that distraction, i end up loosing my way abit and decided that i should just wait till the trains start operating at dawn instead, seriously damn silly of me to walk 3 km and go back because i wasn't too sure where i was since my phone battery was dead. Never going to do this ever again for safety sake, next time if you missed the last train and not too familiar with the area / want to save money from taking cab, just stay put till morning. 
You'll feel gross for not bathing 24 hours, looking like crap but better than being sexually harassed.


Thank God for windbreakers, for the summer night is cold and full of terrors of the winds

My savior, how i love shinkansens because they come with plug points and especially since i was out for more than 12 hours, both phones, camera, wifi router and powerbank battery were exhausted out. I need my phone and wifi router the most because i rely on the map 100%, because of this incident i'll make sure to get a new powerbank with a larger charge capacity and double because you'll never know when cases like this can happen again *choi touchwood* once is enough liao T_T


By the time i reached back to my dormitory, bath and crashed it was around 8am liao, what an "adventure" lol my initial plan to wake up early and head to Nara to explore parts where there are not many tourists ended up with me wasting half a day trying to catch up with my lost sleep from the night before. So next post it's about Nara and those pesky deers that nearly ate me! D:

Thanks for reading and as always if you have any questions, leave a comment below and i'll try my best to answer them as soon as possible :)


Meanwhile check out my other #TravelKansai posts




XOXO,

CONVERSATION

20 comments :

Azunatsu said...

This is a good post!

.....wooow its dangerous of you travelling alone at night.Hope you got yourself self defense counter measures next time

Miss JasJas said...

Wow! Long post to read and see the pictures babe! Hahaha :)
Anyway, I never been to Japan yet but my husband keeps telling me that he loves Japan so much :(

Love,
MissJasJas
www.missjasjas.blogspot.com

nithya reddy said...

Hmmm. This place seems as amazing as the rest of Japan. Maybe not as amazing as Kyoto but pretty good nonetheless!

YingYin said...

This is really details! Should have read this beforehead. I just came back from Osaka few weeks back. Didn't get to travel there because it's pricey, but now you mention 2000+ yen. 😍

Miera Nadhirah Tan said...

omg... love the gorgeous sceneries.. but did not know there were weirdos like these around Japan... And all these while I thought Japan was relatively safe... yikes....

Maha Mahu said...

I love Japan but no luck to get there anymore if anyone sponser ok also hehehe but nice place and review

Alex O' Connor said...

This is what I call a blog post. I totally loved it! But I hated the weirdo part, damn stupid men!
I understand when everything drains out blah. But this was still a very good trip review you know. And yes you really need a danna hehe but can you tell me who took pics?

Em said...

What an adventure you had. Luckily that weirdo backed off. Great tips you have shared for future travellers to refer to.

Rawlins GLAM said...

I trust you about getting lost riding the train coz I did that too - the very first time I arrive in Tokyo. Board the wrong train from Narita and went straight to Haneda when I was supposed to go to Tokyo. And yes, it is costly to be lost in Tokyo. Hahaha

Arisa Chow said...

Should go at least once but trust me japan will make you want to come back for more lol

Arisa Chow said...

Trust me each prefecture has it's own uniqueness. Many people are only familiar with kyoto but they should try others too :)

Arisa Chow said...

Awww it's okay, there is always next trip to Japan :)

Arisa Chow said...

Japan is relatively safe it's probably just me who seems to attract weirdos lol

Arisa Chow said...

Aww thanks dear I'm glad to U enjoyed my post :) year no battery means panic mood on.lol. Well if the gods will bless me with one, why not πŸ˜‚ I usually have a tripod with me to shoot or I'll ask help by some passerbys and in exchange I'll help them take photos too! That's how I make friends actually :)

Arisa Chow said...

Thank you!!😘

Arisa Chow said...

Oh dear, an expensive experience indeed. It's okay, next time don't be shy to ask the train conductors who are at the platforms ensuring safety. They can help :)

dr-Life said...

wow... reading ur japan travel blog like reading novel.. love ur story... - racheal

dr-Life said...

wow... reading ur japan travel blog like reading novel.. love ur story... - racheal

Ashleyang said...

Will visit Japan next year. Thanks for sharing

Betty Liew said...

You have travel around Japan and it seem you are born in Japan. Hiroshima scenery really beautiful. Wish to hear more from you.

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