The trip was back in Oct 2017 and it was the beginning of autumn in Japan. I really need to catch up with the travelogues!
The trip was made possible with SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, who launched their first ever Japanese destination. Yes! Now Singaporeans can all fly directly to Hiroshima!! 😀
The flights to Hiroshima are running three times a week, and as a full-service airline, you get to enjoy wireless in-flight entertainement, free baggage allowance and of course yummy local and Japanese delicacies!
So honored to be on its inaugural flight to Hiroshima from Changi on 30 October!
Launch ceremony at Hiroshima Airport. It was picked up by lots of local Japanese media and it seemed to be a very big deal haha. Giving speech is Mr Foo Chai Woo, the Chief Executive of SilkAir. He was sitting next to me in the flight and I 竟然有眼不识泰山 😱. I was chatting with him very casually about my obsession with Japan and then the next moment he was on the red carpet😂.
There was a Gala lunch at a nearby Hiroshima Airport Hotel, and it’s super beautiful!! It didn’t feel like I was in Japan.
Too much luxury for a hotel that’s right next to the airport.
We had a little bit of time after arriving in the city, and our first stop was the Orizuru Tower.
On top of the tower is a wood-decked observatory is surrounded with mesh covering. Here you can enjoy the vast city view of Hiroshima city.
View of the Atomic Bomb Dome from above. Surrounding it is a large, beautiful park filled with lush green and, maples at the time of my visit. One feels nothing but calm and peace with the breezy air of autumn.
Against the sunset.
There’s an experience corner called the Orizuru Square on the 12th floor. Here you can learn how to fold a Orizuru (Origami crane), make a wish, and send your wishes into the wall of the tower.
If you look at the tower from outside, you will notice a vertical glass panel with paper crane motifs. Yes, you are helping to fill up this wall with your wishes!!
You will go through a very narrow passage that’s part of the glass wall, and drop your crane into the base of the wall. I hope that the wishing wall will be complete with hopes and well wishes gathered from all over the world!
Okonomimura means “Okonomi (yaki) village”. It is a four-storey building filled with Okonomiyaki stalls!! It’s heaven for people who love this Hiroshima pancake.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
First a photo of my hotel breakfast. I really love breakfasts like this and I’m trying to replicate at home now. Such a nutritious feast to warm the morning tummy!
We made a brief visit to the Peace Memorial Park before heading to Miyajima Island. The vibrant gradation of autumn in the background was mesmerizing.
The Children’s Peace Monument was build to commemorate Sadako Sasaki and the thousands of child victims in the bombing.
You can see tens (hundred?) of thousands of colorful paper cranes sent by children from all over Japan.
The iconic reminder of the power of destruction. Honestly I think there’s no way to write about this without feeling heavy inside. We didn’t have time to enter the museum, but I would love to the next time I visit Hiroshima again.
The park was really serene and beautiful. Many people who visited this heritage site thought that it was lucky the bomb dropped into a park. But it was not a park. It was a busy downtown area, the commerical heart of the city. Four years to the day after the bomb was dropped, it was decided that the area would not be redeveloped but instead devoted to peace memorial facilities.
It is hard to believe that 73 years ago it looked nothing like this. There were chirpy school children carrying their lunchboxes waiting for recess. There were people working hard in the offices for a brighter future. There were mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters happily waiting to meet their family and loved ones. But it never happened. Everything stopped.
I felt incredibly sad and thankful at the same time. We are so blessed. Being alive here typing itself is the ultimate blessing. We are capable of so much of love. But sometimes our head gets shadowed and overpowered by so many other opposite feelings. But we can love. And we can choose love.
Walking along the park, we were lead to the port to board the high-speed boat that departs to Miyajima Island.
The boat’s name is Sakura. ^^
Here we are!! To witness one of the top 3 most scenic view in Japan!!
First thing that greets you in Miyajima Island are the deers. If you’re not heading to Nara, you can still get your fix of deers here in Hiroshima haha.
They were not as aggressive/passionate as I imagined. Pretty chillax I’d say! That’s of course on the condition that you don’t smell like a dumpling hahaha.
Everyone can sure get a shot like this. I suspect the deers have gone through tourism board briefing on how to pose with visitors.
This was my second time. To one of the most sacred shrines in Japan (considering there are something like near a hundred thousand shrines in Japan!!)
Was still incredibly charmed the second time around.
Made big wishes.
Five Story Pagoda of Miyajima.
Conger Eel Rice
Lunch was at Fujitaya, a michelin-guide restaurant founded in 1902 that specializes in Anago Meshi (Conger Eel rice) – and that’s the only item on the menu.
Really authentic taste but if you are used to the sweetly glazed grilled unagi, this may be a little light.
Yakigaki (Grilled Oysters)
The best grilled oysters I’ve ever had was in Miyajima. That’s what I thought during my first visit. Still feeling the same the second time. I don’t even remember which stalls I bought from (there are so many!) But every time it was sweet, juicy and slightly smokey, I LOVE it. Both time I regretted not ordering until I ran out of cash. So please when you visit Miyajima, EAT ALL THE OYSTERS. If not you will regret. Haha.
Momiji Manju (Maple Leaf Steamed Bun)
at Yamada Ya, you can make your own Momiji Manju!!
From picking the filling, baking it till packaging. The best hand-made souvenir you can give to your loved ones. ^^
My Azuki and Choco Momiji Manjyu. Not bad! 😀
Next we took a stroll along the charming walking paths towards Mt Misen. You can hike up the mountain if you are adventurous enough, but you can also take the ropeway if time is your priority.
I highly recommend walking towards Daisho-In, a historical temple located at the base of Mt Misen, because the scenery along the way is worth the walk!
Gorgeous view of Itsukushima floating torii gate.
The Momijidani, where you will cross a red bridge, a popular spot for autumn leaf viewing.
It wasn’t peak of autumn yet but the colors were pretty enough for lots of photo op.
Colors of autumn.
The temple is quite a hike as you have to climb up lots of staircases, but I think it is worth a visit. I was really glad I came here this time around (I skipped it the first time I came to Miyajima).
You will see lots of stone statues along the temple, wearing colorful knit hats.
Really lots of them!
I spotted many cute little monks too. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
It was surprising to see this Anpanman statue in Daisho-In. I wondered what was the meaning behind the favorite Japanese childhood cartoon character, so I asked our guide and she told us that temples in Japan, unlike shrines, are usually considered a solemn place, where people usually only visit during funerals or memorials. She guessed that it was an effort to make the whole ambiance more light-hearted, especially for families who visit with kids.
I love this concept. 🙂
To get to ropeway station for Mt Misen, you could either take the bus or walk. Spotted this cute sign along the way.
Here we are!! At the highest point on the island.
Shishi Iwa observatory.
A far-reaching view across the Seto Inland Sea.
We were so lucky because it was a beautiful day and the air is crisp, the view was spectacular.
Picture perfect <3
Haha bad coordinate. It looks like I’m part of the rock😂
At sunset, we made it on time for the last ropeway down the island, and took the ferry back to Hiroshima city.
I was really really happy to have made this second trip to Miyajima.
Next up are some really amazing hidden gems of Hiroshima, off the beaten track. Check back for more!