Saturday, June 27th, 2009. 7:28pm Japan Time.
This morning, it was so difficult to wake up. The futon, so cushy, so seductive, keeping me in bed until I knew if I waited any longer I would miss breakfast. It's a fasting day, but my days in Japan are growing fewer and fewer, so I want to experience more and more.
Today, we got up and had an excellent English breakfast on the first floor of our inn. Yum! The only thing I didn't partake of was the coffee, though I had my first taste ever. It's disgusting. :} I find it baffling that two of the biggest industries for drinks (so big that they are international), are for things that taste horrible (beer and coffee, though soda is understandable despite having obvious nutrient issues). Ah well! I guess it's just not for me. :}
So, we set out to explore Miyajima, which is awake very early in the morning. First, we returned to all of the closed shops and explored. Unfortunately for me, Miyajima is full of delicious foods. I had a taste of various things, but did my best not to partake too much (I don't want to make myself sick! . . . or fat :p ). Terinati really wanted some maple leaf shaped baked goods with filling (I think they're called momiji, but I could be wrong because I keep forgetting :} ). He tried some with red bean inside and with chocolate filling, and we ended up buying a box with chocolate filling. I'm sure they will be tastier than the sesame ice cream I tried yesterday (it's not horrible like it sounds, though!). Then, we found a most popular item, deep fried momiji! People lined up, had to take numbers! Terinati only purchased one, and I took one bite and regretted very much that it was fasting day. If it wasn't, I would have eaten five of them. :} In the end, I'm glad I tried it, though!
After touring around and buying a few souvenirs, including a miniature Otorii, we headed up to the cable car. The ride up was pretty cool, and despite the warnings of monkeys, we saw none, which is okay. :) But then we say the “hike” up to the topmost point, which has a lot of rewarding goods and such, but realized right away that this was an even worse hike than the last one we attempted. Neither of us even saw a path, so we decided to save our very sore feet (today, Terinati had started to really hurt, so it's a true testament to how much traveling by foot we've been doing; he's got the buffest legs I've ever seen!) and head back down. We saw the 5-story pagoda and the adjacent shrines.
Miyajima is so beautiful, so peaceful, and so wonderful. But, without the hike . . . we'd been just about everywhere there is to go! :} So, we hopped on the train and headed back to Hiroshima after checking our schedule for tomorrow and seeing what we would need to leave and such.
Back in Hiroshima, Terinati had a mission to find the okonomiyaki at Okonomiyaki Mura. We went back to the shopping areas, and I was happy to spot it for Terinati. We headed up the stairs to the third floor and sat down in a nearly empty restaurant at a table with a cooking surface; we were going to get one of those treats where the chefs cook right in front of us. Terinati only ordered one okonomiyaki, but because we were both there, they assumed we were going to split it and served it in half to both of us. =^><^= D'oh! But, I'm glad in the end, because despite its appearance, it is SOOOOO good! You must have okonomiyaki, and don't get it cold, in wrap, or anywhere where it is not cooked fresh and handed to you FRESH. There are many different kinds, so if you're not sure, like we were, just ask for the most basic kind. OMG, why aren't these in the US? Where is the Okonomiyaki and cinnamon/red bean ice cream?!
After that, we wandered around a bit more and discovered the Japanese version of Cold Stone: Marvelous Cream. To my sorrow, the banana tiramisu that they advertised on the English menu was no longer available, but I had to try something anyway, so I had a delicious strawberry-banana thing in a waffle cup. Now, feeling somewhat fat, I still admit that it was quite satisfying. :}
For a change of pace, and to make our 2-day Miyajima passes count, we decided to take the cable car back to Miyajima guchi instead of the JR Train. We figured it'd be less crowded, but we figured wrong. Once we were on it, and at each stop the cars only got more and more crammed full, it occurred to me that this result should have been obvious since the cable car would cost less to ride than the train, so the people who are trying to save money would all be on it. Furthermore, the car we had to take was the only one that went to several places, so most people wouldn't want to wait for another one. Still, it was a good experience, if a bit tiring from all of the standing. :)
By the time we got back, it was after 6pm, and everything in Japan seems to close up between 3pm and 6pm. Only a few places are open later, unless you're in Tokyo where there seems to be a little more of a night life. Actually, there are a lot of night owls in Kyoto, but many stores still close earlier in the day. Now, as I sit at our low table, Terinati has the broadway version of Lion King showing on TV . . . only it's in Japanese. :} It's kind of cool, though, because obviously we know the story already. Tomorrow, we are promised to have internet again, so hopefully I will finally be able to upload all of the photos and blogs! Not that anyone will probably want to read all of this in one go. :} But, maybe it will help someone else going to Japan. =^--^=
I wish we didn't have to leave, though I do miss Stardust and Tatsu terribly. Well, talk tomorrow!