🇯🇵 Day trip to 広島 (Hiroshima) and 神戸市 (Kōbe)
This post is the second in a series on our honeymoon trip in Japan. We also visited Seoul, South Korea. Have a read of part 1 and part 2 of our Seoul adventures, and read about our first two days in Osaka.
On our third day in Osaka we actually decided to day trip to Hiroshima and Kobe. I’d never been to either place so I was pretty excited to be heading somewhere new.
To get to Hiroshima we caught the shinkansen from Shin-Osaka, and it was about an hour’s trip to get to Hiroshima. From there, we caught a bus to the Hiroshima Peace Park. It’s not a park as the name suggests, it’s actually a museum. Although there are many other things to see in Hiroshima, this one is definitely worth checking out.
I honestly found Hiroshima Peace Park to be really educational, as we learned a lot about the background behind the bombing. It was also heartbreaking watching short videos about some of the survivors’ stories. One aged woman still remembered everything very clearly and she had lost her husband and both her children. I don’t even know how she felt comfortable talking about it. Although she sounded extremely upset, she didn’t seem to be tearing up like I expected. Some people were only 13 or 14 years old when the bombs fell, yet they could recall the memories so vividly. There was an area dedicated to showing clothes, watches, kitchenware and other items that had been affected by the destruction of Hiroshima. They had been preserved and some were donated by family members of the deceased (who had kept the clothes) or simply found among the wreckage.
After finishing up at the Hiroshima Peace Park we walked around and observed the Dome in the city, that was in ruins but still partially standing. By then it was time for lunch and we stumbled upon a sushi train/carousel restaurant called Nonta-Sushi. We hadn’t had sushi in Japan yet so we headed on in. It ended up being really good! 🤤 In particular I favoured the pickled plum rolls and the Hiroshima greens rolls.
We went to Itsukushima (popularly known as Miyajima) to see the famous torii gate, Itsukushima Shrine, which is in the ocean. It was a pretty long train ride. Although the town seemed pretty nice we went straight to the ferry that would take us closer to the shrine. As expected, it was packed with people.
I often see photos of the shrine at high tide, so a lot of it is immersed in water. This time the tide was really low so you could stand right at the bottom of the torii gate without getting wet.
At the bottom of the gate pillars is some buildup from the ocean water, and people have tried pushing coins of Japanese yen into the buildup for good fortune.
We were only there for around thirty minutes but the tide rose super quick. We had headed out further and after walking back we could see that the tide had risen in the area we were previously standing in. Catching the ferry there and back to the mainland, we could see the shrine from a distance and it made for a nice view. We also came across some wild deer!
Since we wanted to get a shinkansen to get us to Kobe by around 5:00pm, we had to leave Miyajima at a certain time. We had to run for the train after catching the ferry to the mainland. If we didn’t make that train, it would mean that we missed our connecting shinkansen and would be in Kobe too late. Thankfully we made it. 😂
We spent about twenty minutes walking around Kobe and scouting the streets (including a few of the side streets) to find good kobe beef. We stumbled upon a restaurant that had some interesting and appealing advertising out the front. I think there may have been a familiar TripAdvisor sticker on it too.
When we walked in, they were very welcoming but informed us that they were fully booked out. But the two waitstaff immediately wanted to help us. They said that they had some other restaurants in their group – I’m guessing they all have the same owner or something like that – and that we might be able to score a seat at one of those. They made a couple of phone calls and then one of them asked us to follow her. We had to walk across the road and maybe half a block away, to a restaurant that was located in a complex. It’s quite common in Japan that you will find restaurants and cafes in small complexes, you might even have to walk up a staircase or two (or three).
We ended up going to a restaurant called Kobe Tanryu. Before we went in, the waitress who had walked us there said we could check the menu outside and see if it was OK. We were pretty happy with it, so we headed on in.
The inside of the restaurant was so pleasant. It only seated about 8 people, and you sit around the cooking area where you can see the chefs cook the meat. From the look of the restaurant we initially walked into, this setting might have been a common thing in kobe beef restaurants.
We ordered a sirloin steak and prime rib steak. We got rice, miso soup and salad with it as well. The chef asked if we wanted a photo, and he was kind enough to take one for us, also taking the time to set up the area so it looked presentable.
The chef prepared some condiments on a square stone plate. The condiments included thin, dry garlic, salt and pepper, fresh wasabi, and pickled plum. I normally don’t like wasabi, and I don’t like the feeling it gives, but I’ve found that I like fresh wasabi. In some eateries in Japan we received fresh wasabi (this was the first one I experienced) and to me it tasted more… well, tasty. And the feeling didn’t hit my nose as strongly.
We spent a mini fortune on our meal ($300 per person) but the experience, service and the taste of the food made it well worth it. I think that if you do eat meat as part of your diet, the experience of eating kobe beef in Kobe is definitely something you must do.
Kyoto was our next stop – and my next post about our honeymoon adventures will be on exactly that!
Photos in this post were taken by me on my iPhone 7 or on my Canon 6D.