We, of course, brought our friends Florrie and Chris along. About a month before our trip Florrie researched Goodwill Guides, there are many organizations that put tourists in touch with free guides throughout Japan. We were lucky enough to get a great guide, he was a 70 year old man who walked circles around the four of us! We told him where we would like to go and he made most of the arrangement. We booked our own hotel which we liked, it had a great view.
Although, we did sort of wish we had known about this place.
Our first night we just wandered around a bit and looked for an interesting place to have dinner. We found this funky little place not too far from our hotel.
This is practically the first thing we saw as we disembarked.
This is an entry way into one of the areas of the island/shrine.
You can see some of the detail here; a couple of gods and a very large straw sandal.
Our friend Chris made sure we got to see all of the sights.
He offered us some sake, of course Nemo said yes,
he drinks like a, well you know!
where we looked we saw beauty.
Isn't the little girl precious; it's good to see
children learning about their traditions.
There were different areas on the island. Our guide brought us to an area with a lot of Buddhas next.
The guy in the red hat reminded Chris of Bacchus the god of wine who we ran into many times in Italy. We also saw this same guy in Morioka in the Shrine of 500 Buddhas.
I always enjoy meeting with like minded people so this was a special part of the trip for me. Nemo and his little fish brain are always happy, so he enjoyed our conversations too. When we asked why so many of the Buddha were wearing hats we were told, "Because it's cold"!
Along with too many Buddhas to count, we also ran into these lovely ladies. They told us they were acolytes in training.
Another good reason to look into the free guides is that there could be unexpected benefits. We all wanted to visit the Mazda Museum but even though we tried to buy tickets quite far in advance we were told they were sold out. When we let our guide know that we might be asking him to work with us another day because we weren't taking the tour he surprised us by getting us tickets. There is no guarantee this will happen for someone else but the guides are still wonderful! We found the museum visit quite fun and educational; I love seeing the ingenuity of the human race! We got to go through the factory but weren't allowed to take pictures. The old cars were cool.
As many of you know there is more to Japanese cuisine than sushi. We told our guide that we would like to experience Okonomiyaki which is a special meal made with a pancake like thing on the bottom with all kinds of ingredients piled on top.
He took us to this place, which he said was his favorite Okonomiyaki place in Hiroshima.
It was interesting to watch our food being prepared.
We walked by this area most days when we went out exploring. I always like little shrines, no matter who they belong to, so we stopped here. Florrie and Chris were more interested in the little restaurant called Oyster Conclave.
We had other good meals and of course we ate at our favorite breakfast place Sukiya. If you live in or visit Japan you should eat there at least once. The pictures below are not Sukiya.
We did not get tea in the little tea house, it was't open at the time.
There is also a children's park within the peace museum area. There are lots of paper cranes; the picture below is made entirely of small paper cranes, it is just one of many. Everyone is allowed to place paper cranes in the Children's Peace Monument in the park.
The statue is Sadako, the main character in a very sad children's book; we also went by her school. Not ot get preachy or anything but this is another place like Auschwitz, that reminds us all why it is
so important that we work towards world peace.
There is much more then we have shown you to Hiroshima;
museums, and an anime library.
Well, believe it or not, it's been less than a year since this trip and Florrie has gotten her blog done! Maybe this is the start of something! Until next time when I'll tell you about our trip to New Zealand, sayonara.