In the wake of three very long and busy days in the vicinity of Okayama, most of my time in Hiroshima was just spent chilling at home with the family and watching the Olympics. Rock climbing at Mount Mikura-dake was undoubtedly the main event from my time there but there were a few other fairly notable little excursions from the sofa. One of them was visiting Hijiyama Park which I’d never been to despite it not being so far away from the A-Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park & Museum.
On the anniversary of Imperial Japan announcing they would surrender (15 August 1945), we (by mere coincidence I think!) visited a small area housing the graves of those who died in battle though I think they are from the Meiji period (1868-1912).
The Museum of Contemporary Art (below) is a short walk away and it possesses a few famous Western names in its collection, including Andy Warhol and Frank Stella. However, on the day we were there it was closed as many museums often are on Mondays.
There is a sculpture garden outside though that can be visited for free, including The Arch (below) designed by Henry Moore which was cast in the mid-eighties and is made of bronze.
Some decent city-views of Hiroshima and the Seto Inland Sea can be seen at various points in this vast park. Sadly when we were there it was a fairly bleak, grey, dreary, wet afternoon but it would be really nice to see this park during the cherry blossom season.
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.
One day we took her to a local shopping mall where she was intrigued by the dinosaur statue outside (all part of the promo for some kind of dinosaur exhibition) and had to go in the trolley inside the pet store we went to get something for her.
On another afternoon, I borrowed my mother-in-laws bicycle and went out for a short cycle ride over the bridge near their apartment which offered nice views of Mount Kairoyama and much bigger mountains in the distance of that. I cycled on to see the dinosaur kitted out in Sanfrecce Hiroshima strip which I had noticed the previous day as we drove by it coming back from the aforementioned shopping mall.
Gripped by table tennis fever at the Olympics (it’s a very popular Olympic sport for the Japanese!), we decided to do some kind of family ping pong tournament one day which was good fun. Realisation soon set in that it is so difficult to do much of the stuff the professionals do!
No trip to Hiroshima is ever complete without some okonomiyaki. Usually we eat this pancake-like creation very locally but this time we ate it in a busy shopping centre on our final afternoon before going to the airport to head back to reality.
The airport, as ever, was full of goods relating to the local football and baseball teams. Sanfrecce have been fairly successful in recent years but the Carp baseball team have been in the doldrums for many years now…..until recently when they “did a Leicester” and miraculously managed to win the title.
This was my first time to spend the obon holiday in Japan for eleven years. It’s been foreign travel all the way since Hachijojima in 2005 and I hate to think how much money has been spent in that time! Thankfully we always have Hiroshima to fall back on and there are still plenty of places for us to visit over that way as well as getting to spend time with the family of course.