It may not have seemed like it (due to many Yamaguchi-related posts) but most of our time was actually spent in Hiroshima. As the title suggests, this is a collection of stuff that didn’t merit it’s own post which may hard to believe when a Lawson convenience store got it’s own entry!
After three very busy days (spread over two trips!) in the bordering prefecture of Yamaguchi the following days were fairly leisurely and lazy (by my standards!) with the highlight being my visit to the driving range for the first time in my life. In my youth I would quite often practice putting in our garden (sometimes even in the living room!) or at the local park’s mini-golf course but it’s been well over twenty years since those days.
I have never used an iron or a club though and as expected it was quite difficult. My father-in-law was very keen to teach me and his tips regarding grip, focus, stance etc really helped. I managed to hit about 3-4 half-decent shots from every ten balls which doesn’t sound that great but he assured me it wasn’t bad for a beginner.
Earlier that same day, my wife and I took Momiji for a walk up the nearby Kairoyama which is a park/mountain which I like to climb every time we visit Hiroshima. It’s only 53 metres tall and more effort is actually spent getting there as there’s no direct route from the apartment block due to the many dead-end roads in the area. The park contains one of the worst tennis courts I’ve seen!!
It’s very important to remember that these trips are not just all about me. I was so grateful that I got to see a few places in Yamaguchi prefecture of my choice that I felt obliged to do whatever anyone else suggested on other days. One such choice was by my mother-in-law to go to see her friends calligraphy exhibition (below) in the city centre which was actually more interesting than I thought it would be.
That was followed by a drink or two at a hip cafe and Starbucks. At the former we had fish and chips (below) and this is what it looked like! None of the fish had been eaten when I took that picture either! It was a bit strange and far removed from real British fish ‘n chips!
Mascots are a huge multi-million dollar business in Japan and many businesses and prefectures have their own mascot. I’m not sure about this horse (above) one though which I spotted outside a cafe in the city centre!
Rewinding back to our first morning, we went to a nearby onsen complex (below) whilst it was relatively quiet as we knew that it would get a lot busier after that day as the rest of the country began their obon holidays.
On the return walk home we went past this mountain of old bicycles (above) which is something of a weird sight. I’ve got no idea why before you ask!
The food during this trip was fantastic as always but I’ll focus on just a couple of things here and the first one is a very simple but unique one. My mother-in-law served up mashed potato (with raisins) on toast (below) one morning as she wanted me to finish off the leftovers. It was actually way better than I thought it would be not that I’ll probably try it again as it sounds completely wrong!!
Kawara soba (above) is a simple but very tasty dish consisting of baked soba noodles, scrambled egg, beef, seaweed and grated daikon radish. This is a speciality of the neighbouring Yamaguchi prefecture and is usually served on a heated kawara tile. Soldiers would heat kawara tiles during the civil war in the 19th century and cook wild grass and meat on them and thus kawara soba was born.
As ever, when we are in Hiroshima a lot of time is spent with Momiji so below is a selection of the various pictures I took of her chilling out at home as well as a random one of a concrete turtle on Coin Street in Itsukaichi.
Every time we go to Hiroshima, we pass the David Price English School just across the road from Itsukaichi station and it is often mentioned by my wife and in-laws that I should get a job there! I’m sure it’s not quite as easy as they seem to think! What I wasn’t aware of was that there is another english school called Kids Duo just another block away so if we ever did move to Hirosima then there are some options for me!
Click here to read ‘This Lawson Convenience Store Is Different To Their Usual Ones’
Click here to read ‘Just Look At The Size Of This Train Station In Hiroshima’