Japan 2019 (Part 4: Hiroshima + Osaka)

We’re finally at the last part of my Japan 2019 adventure! (Click here to read part 1, part 2, and part 3.) It was so much fun writing and editing all the photos (all 140+ photos)—it’s as if I’m traveling back there again through my writing. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it!

Day 9: Hiroshima + Miyajima Island

Out of all the places we’ve visited so far, I admit that I was most excited about Hiroshima. It was an entirely new place for me, and I’ve been wanting to visit the area for a long time. So after nine hours on the night bus, we finally arrived at Hiroshima Station:

The bus conveniently announcing our arrival.

It was another cold morning when we got down the bus; it was like an instant wake-up call for us! We walked to Hiroshima Station’s streetcar platform and headed for our hostel, J-Hoppers Hiroshima. We freshened up quickly and had a light kombini breakfast before heading for the Motoyasu Pier to board the ferry going to Miyajima Island. (While it wasn’t the cheapest way to get there, it was the most convenient way for us as our hostel was within walking distance to the Hiroshima Peace Park.)

We got seats on the ferry that face the windows!

What a peaceful sight.

What’s cool about this ferry is that it cruises slowly on the river, letting us enjoy the calm views, before speeding into the sea!

The Atomic Bomb Dome.

Forty-five minutes later, we reached the gorgeous Miyajima Island. We didn’t have any specific plans except to eat, take lots of nice photos, and walk around enjoying the sights. We were welcomed by a few deer friends:

Oh, deer!

Trying hard to blend in?

After saying hello to the deer, we spotted our first eat of the afternoon: curry oyster buns! Man, I love oysters and curry, and to see the two of them combined into one heavenly pouch made me really excited. I immediately bought one with no hesitation.

The verdict? I would gladly go all the way back to Miyajima just to eat another one of these. Delicious!

Hiroshima is well known for oysters, so I made it a point to eat a LOT of it while I was there. The shopping arcade in the area was lovely; there were a lot of stores selling specific products, so I bought a few postcards and some small souvenirs as we went on.

Grilled oyster with cheese! Yum.

It was such a beautiful day when we went, perfect for strolling around and relaxing.

We finally arrived at the giant “floating” torii gate of Itsukushima/Miyajima Island and it was huge! Pictures don’t do it enough justice. We marveled at the sight—one of the best things I’ve seen in Japan, for sure.

The famous “floating” torii gate! Loving all the colors in this photo.

We had to take a couple of photos with it, of course.

There were a lot of places selling Momiji Manju (maple leaf shaped cakes) and I eagerly tried as much as I could.

Deep fried maple leaf shaped custard sponge cake—mmmm.

We eventually decided to head up Mt. Misen and bought tickets for the ropeway.

The views from up here are just gorgeous.

When we reached the end, we saw that they had a little Momiji Manju workshop for just ¥300 a person, and we all signed up:

Ta-da! Special Momiji Manju design for the workshop.

We made red bean Momiji Manju, which turned out delicious! We had fun making it (and eating it, of course.)

We ended up with two plates (that’s 12 pieces) and split it equally.

After our little snack, we headed out of the station and went to the Shishiiwa Observatory for the view. We could see Hiroshima City from up there—it was quite a view.

After spending an hour or two up in the observatory and station, we headed back down via ropeway and found a little ice cream place that sold specialty sweet potato ice cream.

The taste of the purple yam is light. The hot purple yam and the cold soft cream made a great sensation on our taste buds.

We walked around the shopping arcade again and I stopped to try the deep-fried Momiji Manju (I got custard again, hehe) and it tasted delicious! I wish I could take home the goodness. Luckily, they sold pre-packed Momiji Manju, and I bought a few boxes for souvenirs.

Soft, crunchy, and light. Tastes so good!

When we passed by the torii gate once more, we were pleasantly surprised to catch it at low tide and went down the sandy areas to take photos and get a closer look at the torii gate.

What a sight.

For my last hurrah of the day, I bought a plate of fried oysters. (The main reason why I’m eating as many oysters as I could is because I knew that when I would get back home, oyster eating will be rare, huhu.) Just as I took my last bite, our ferry arrived and we boarded the boat.

Giant fried oysters! I’m so happy, huhuhu.

We rode the ferry back to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and walked to Hiroshima Bus Center to buy the Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass (3-day Medium Area Pass) in preparation for our journey tomorrow. For dinner, we ordered a curry takeaway from Matsuya and headed back to the hostel to rest for the day.

Miyajima Island was just amazing and I would definitely want to go back in the future.

Day 9: Okunoshima (Rabbit Island)

The next day, we woke up bright and early to catch the bus for Okunoshima Port. We ate breakfast at the bus terminal to save time as the trip to Okunoshima Port takes around two hours or so. The bus ride to the port was relaxing; the view on the way was beautiful and peaceful. Eventually, we reached our stop and dropped by the nearby Family Mart to buy lunch and rabbit food!

I bought a cabbage!

Armed with our purchases, we walked to the port area to buy our ferry tickets and souveniers.

“The Gateway to Rabbit Island”

I bought cute postcards, one roll of washi tape, and bunny stickers.

Once we got our tickets, we sat down and ate our lunch as we waited for the scheduled ferry to arrive. I had a tuna onigiri and Famichiki for a light lunch:

My favorite: Family Mart’s Famichiki!

The ferry is here!

At last, we’ve reached Okunoshima Island/Rabbit Island! The long trip was worth it. The scenery was just marvelous, and the feeling of seeing rabbits run (hop?) up to you to beg for food is just too adorable.

A few of the many rabbits hopping around the island!

Alecca feeding a rabbit a carrot while snapping a pic, hehe.

We basically spent a few hours feeding the rabbits, walking around the island, and enjoying the surroundings. It was incredibly serene on the island—almost like a hidden paradise to escape to.

Rabbit hiding under the walkway.

Nicole attempting to feed a rabbit.

After a calm afternoon of rabbit feeding and sightseeing, we walked back to the bus stop and headed back to Hiroshima Station; by that time, we were tired with all the travel. I wasn’t surprised that we pretty much napped almost all the way back. It was around 6 PM when we got back so we decided to have a “Hiroshima-style” Okonomiyaki for dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Happy and hungry.

Finally seated! (Also, that’s actually tea and not beer in our glasses, HAHA.)

Eating okonomiyaki in Hiroshima is one of the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and this dinner did not disappoint!

So. Good. I would gladly go back just to eat this again, haha!

After a filling dinner, we hopped on a streetcar and made our way back to the hostel.

Day 10: Hiroshima Exploration

For the first time on this entire trip, we slept in. After nine days of travel, we caught up on some Zs and are ready to explore Hiroshima. For our last day in Hiroshima, we didn’t have a specific itinerary. We left the hostel around 9:30 AM and had breakfast at the cafe across the street:

A simple, but delicious breakfast.

We decided to do some last minute shopping for souvenirs, so we went to Daiso, Tokyu Hands, and a few other shops before stopping for lunch:

Cheesy beef bowl, anyone?

After lunch, we walked to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and rented an audio device to guide us through the exhibits. Here are a few snaps inside the museum:

A short digital map showing what happened during the bombing.

The paper crane folded by Obama.

Going around, viewing the exhibits, made my heart heavy. It was a bittersweet and important experience in order to really understand what happened so many years ago. We stayed until closing time and headed back out to the Hiroshima Memorial Park.

Hiroshima’s Flame of Peace still burning since 1964.

Children’s Peace Monument—at the back were tons of paper cranes in different designs.

After one last look around the park, we dropped by a kombini and bought dinner before walking back to the hostel. We had to get ready and do our final packing before we board our night bus going back to Osaka.

Hiroshima streetcars at night.

I felt a little sad to leave—there were still things I would have loved to see and do, but knowing that means a promise to come back.

In the night bus one last time!

Thank you, Hiroshima! I’ll visit you again in the future, for sure.

Day 11: Osaka + Going Home

We’re finally on our last day of adventure! Time flies, for sure. We arrived in Osaka at around 6:30 AM and dropped our luggage off at Shin Travel Luggage Storage Namba (we actually had to wait until they opened, so we freshened up at the restroom in the building while waiting.) After dropping off our heavy luggage (mine was already at 19.45kg…the baggage limit was 20kg, HAHA), we went to the nearby Matsuya for breakfast.

I had salmon, raw egg, natto, soup, and rice—one of my favorite breakfast combinations!

After breakfast, we went to claim our airport express tickets from the station and walked around the area. We spotted a Beard Papa’s store and just had to grab a cream puff!

I got the Chelsea collaboration cream puff—yummy!

Since it was our last day, we took the liberty to buy last minute things and eat a little pricier than normal, HAHA. We dropped by the Tower Records/LOFT/MUJI building and spent the next couple of hours there shopping (window shopping hahahuhu) until we stopped for lunch at the MUJI Cafe.

Always love eating here at the MUJI Cafe!

Eventually, the inevitable comes and we had to leave for the airport. After claiming our luggage, we headed for the Nankai Express train and zoomed past the city.

Good-bye, Osaka!

As my last hurrah, I had a little snack at the airport: strawberry-flavored water and one more Famichiki for the road!

That just about wraps up my 11-day adventure in Japan! It was such a great experience going around the area and exploring with friends. Now it’s time to save up for my next adventure. 💸💸💸

Good-bye, Japan! See you again soon!

‘Till the next blog post,
Sophie 💖

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