The Saturday before Christmas Charrleen, Marcus, Jeremy, and I decided to go check out Hiroshima.
We rode the train up because it was surprisingly inexpensive (about $15 round trip per person). This was my first time riding a train in Japan. I loved it. The train took us past Miyajima Island. I plan on exploring that island in the spring.
The train station in Hiroshima was HUGE compared to the one we came from in Iwakuni. We went out to catch a street car to take us to Hondori Street.
Hondori Street is a much larger version of our Yellow Brick Road. It is a covered street that stretches about a mile long. Hondori means main street. There are many types of restaurants, shops, arcades, and even a couple of malls on Hondori Street.
One of the first shops we stopped to check out was Anderson’s Bakery. It’s the same company that I visit often here in Iwakuni. Where the Iwakuni one is tiny and cozy, this one was HUGE and glamorous. It was three stories tall with many gourmet food options and two cafes. I want to go back and buy everything there to try it. I really want to go back and get some of the meats they had on sale.
After seeing all the food there in the bakery, we were all hungry. We went into one of the malls to try and find something for lunch. We found an adorable cafe that looked like it belonged more in an Alice and Wonderland movie than a mall. The food was amazing. I ordered french toast because I have a sweet tooth and I haven’t had french toast in almost a year. What I got was not what I was expecting. It was a savory french toast instead of sweet. It was also served with a corn chowder, sausage, and a Caesar salad with lotus chips. Jeremy received fried chicken, a salad, spicy green curry, and corn chowder. Charrleen had taco rice with the chowder and salad. Marcus ordered a pasta dish that also came with the salad and chowder. My latte was served in a bowl. Next time I go back I want to order a milkshake that I saw the table beside us order. They bring it out in a mason jar and you have to shake it for about 5 to 10 minutes before you can drink it. I don’t know why but it looks like something fun.
After lunch we went back out onto Hondori Street to explore. Jeremy and I were happy to find a Starbucks. We had to stop off and grab a drink.
Near the Starbucks we found a Lush cosmetics shops. If you haven’t heard of Lush, please look into it. They make AMAZING bath bombs that smell incredible and make the skin so soft. They also have amazing scents. I can’t wait to go back and get more bath bombs.
After Lush we ventured into another mall. This mall had the Pokemon Center in it. The Pokemon Center is a store devoted to all things Pokemon. I was able to pick up some Christmas presents for Katniss and Jeremy. We also got to see a giant walking Pikachu.
Also at the mall was a store with gothic and Lolita dresses. If I ever lose enough weight I want to buy a few of these dresses. I love the style. Jeremy even likes the men’s style.
Across from the Lolita and gothic dresses was a railroad hobby shop with huge train setup up. Part of it had a model of the Atomic Bomb Dome in it. It was incredibly cool.
Seeing the Atomic Bomb Dome in the train setup inspired us to go see it in person. I knew the history about the Atomic Bomb Dome and had seen pictures but nothing prepares you for seeing it in person. The building is massive and everything around is quiet. Even though it is in the heart of the city, it is strangely quiet here. Walking around Peace Park and seeing all the memorials for the teachers, workers, people affected by the bombing. The one that touched almost as much as the Atomic Bomb Dome was the Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students. It was for 10,000 students who were killed in the bombings.
After Peace Park we rode the street car back to Hondori Street to see some more of the shops. We also found a six story arcade. Each floor of the arcade had a different theme of games.
After the sun went down we walked back to the edge of Peace Park because we heard there was suppose to be about a mile of Christmas light set up. What we found was even cooler than we had hoped to experience. Mixed in among the lights were various cosplayers doing photo shoots. I used my translator to see if some of them would take pictures with me and Jeremy. I was excited that most of them said yes! I discovered that night I really need to invest in a selfie stick.
Heading home after exploring the lights was another relaxing train ride. We were surprised to see our train mostly empty where the train beside us was so packed the doors could barely close.
Hiroshima was a fun city and I really can’t wait to go back to explore it some more. Since the train ride is only an hour and doesn’t cost very much, I think this is something I can do often when I feel the need for an adventure. Now that I have figured out how to purchase train tickets, I want to ride the train to go explore more areas, like Miyajima Island or maybe Kyoto. Much easier than trying to drive.