The prettiest sewer

Hiroshima, Japan

Ah Hiroshima. What a sweet surprise.
The last leg of our journey took us as far south as this infamous city. It proved to be so much more than a history lesson. We were lucky to have a great in—Yushi, who was our AirBnB host, and became a friend. Her tatami apartment was a little gem, eccentric and lovingly decorated. It was built for tiny people (me!) so Ken was ducking through every doorway. Yushi’s place was full of surprises: A walk along the balcony led to the shower, she provided beautiful vintage kimonos for playing dress up (my dream!) and sold hand-made accessories in her kitchen.

She was also gracious enough to take us for a traditional meal in the neighbourhood at Moku Moku. Okonomiyaki,  (meaning “what you like” + “grill”), a Hiroshima specialty, turned out to be one of the best thing we tasted in Japan. The place we went to was a mini, hole-in-the-wall establishment, inconspicuous from outside but warm and cheerful on the inside. As we entered, on a large cooktop right in the middle of the room our dinner was being made. Layers of noodles, egg, cabbage, veggies, bacon and cheese sizzled, topped with a squirt of sweet okonomi sauce. We planted ourselves around the grill making the 8-seater restaurant half-full and were greeted by a smiling woman in an apron. Mrs. Hayashi, now 72-years old, has been running the place for more than 30 years and she’s a firecracker. Sure maybe we had to repeat our order 3 or 4 times, but Mrs. Hayashi didn’t miss the opportunity to give us marriage advice, gasp at our ages (apparently we look young for westerners) and come out for a photo-op in front of the resto. To our surprise, Mrs. Hayashi also gave us a beautiful parting gift—a set of okonomiyaki spatulas. The best! Arigato gozaimashita.

Our Hiroshima place

Our Hiroshima place

Terrace bonsai, or is it bonsai terrace?

Terrace bonsai, or is it bonsai terrace?

Bathroom decor

Bathroom decor

Breakfast at home

Breakfast at home

Playing dress-up

Playing dress-up

Dinner at Moku Moku

Dinner at Moku Moku

Okonomiyaki deliciousness

Okonomiyaki deliciousness

Mrs. Hayashi

Mrs. Hayashi

Mrs. Hayashi's gift: a pair of okonomiyaki spatulas

Mrs. Hayashi’s gift: a pair of okonomiyaki spatulas

Next time… More Hiroshima + Miyajima deer heaven

 

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UnaHiroshima, Japan

Comments

  1. Carol

    Can you imagine if I ever go – I’m 6’1″! Too bad that tatami apartment is only operating till November. It’s perfect. What would the toilet have been like before it was “Westernized”?

    1. Author
      Una

      At 6’1 you’ll be able to see above any crowd, so there are perks too ;) Going to a concert would be dreamy.
      Yes, sadly the tatami room is now closed to tourists.
      But there were definitely other airbnb options when we were looking. Are you thinking of going?

      1. Carol

        My daughter is a major of East Asian Studies and speaks Japanese and hopes to work there for a year or so teaching after her final year (this year). So if she does go (she’s also interested in Seoul) I would go and visit for sure.

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