Thursday, May 7, 2015

Japan 2015 - Day 12 - Matsue to Hiroshima

April 18: Oshima Island Museum of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii

Breakfast this morning was Japanese/American buffet.  This is Sweetie's breakfast.

This is mine.

This day was mostly for traveling.  We had a long distance to go until we reached our final destination, Hiroshima.

I don't think I would ever get tired of these views.

Our first stop was the neatest rest stop of the whole trip to me. It's called Michi no Eki Takano (Roadside Station Takano). 

I lingered a little bit here at these oranges, but decided not to buy one because they were a bit pricey. They are called Dekopon.  I learned later that it's a sweet variety of mandarin orange. I had bought oranges twice before on this trip and both times they were sour. I decided I would quit on the oranges already. I shoulda bought one of these to try though, yah. Ack.

Oh well, maybe next time.  I would love it if we had one of these roadside stations in Hawaii.

You ever heard of kenchin soup? According to the sign in front of the pot, that's what this is. It's a Japanese vegetable soup with Buddhist origins, having first been made in the Kenchoji Temple, the first Zen Buddhist Temple in Japan. Sounds healthy. I didn't buy this either. 

So, I didn't get the dekopan orange, and I didn't get the kenchin soup. But what I did get were two of these apple tarts, one for me and one for Sweetie. I really, really wanted to get the mochi mochi doughnut too, but I resisted. Why, yah? I shoulda just got um already.

The apple tarts were super, super delicious.

A lady in front of me at the register bought three bags of these apple chips so I picked up one bag too. I never tried it.  I gave it away as omiyage so I dunno if it was good or not.

This lemon daifuku was just okay. I shoulda got the mochi mochi doughnut instead. 

On the road again . . . 


We stopped here for lunch.


The sign below says "Kaki no Kushiyaki" - Grilled oyster skewers. You see the kanji 串? That is "kushi" which means skewer. Doesn't it look like two things on a skewer? I think that is the coolest kanji ever.

The food on the outside looked good, but me and Sweetie decided to go for ramen this time. 

We put our money in one of those machines that spits out a ticket.  The kitchen automatically received our order.

We kept our tickets and waited for our numbers to be called.  Which was not too easy because they were calling out numbers really fast, and we had to listen for "go-hyaku-niju-yon" and "shi-hyaku-ju-hachi" . . . I think.

We both got the same thing . . . shoyu ramen.  It was gooooood.

We had a little time after eating to do some shopping.  I thought this was strange.

At a lot of the rest stops, there were these smoking areas.  They were usually stationed far away.  I liked that.

This is where I made small-kine commotion. The rest room I used was for women and handicapped people. I think that's what the sign means? No? Maybe it means woman with handicapped person. Anyway, I go in and do my business and I'm kinda rushing in case a woman with a handicapped person needs to use the toilet. When I'm pau, I look on the wall beside me and there are all these buttons, but no English.  I have to flush the toilet, right?  I can't just leave it like that. Especially here in Japan where everything is done all proper and all. So, I take a guess and press a button. A loud alarm goes off. BAAAP, BAAAP, BAAAP, BAAAP!!! Holy moly! I frantically press the button again and again.  I press all of the other buttons. The alarm doesn't stop. BAAP, BAAP, BAAAP!!! Then I hear knocking on the door. A voice goes in Japanese, "Are you okay in there? Daijobu desuka? Is everything all right? Ii desuka?" I slide open the door. A man with a very concerned look on his face and about ten other people behind him are looking at me.  I raise my arms and say, "Sorry, sorry, machigatta." I think that means "mistake". I wasn't sure. But one thing I was sure of . . . I was so shame.

I took this photo at a restroom later on.  I hope I never forget that this means "flush".

Back on the road again we eventually crossed this bridge.  It took us to Oshima Island, one of the largest islands in the Seto Naikai Strait. 

We visited the Museum of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii.

It is located in the town of Suo Oshima, sister city of Kauai.

The museum features photographs, exhibits and artifacts of the emigrants in Hawaii. It reminded me a lot of the Hawaii Plantation Village in Waipahu.















Look at the sticker on this suitcase. There's a picture of an airplane and then "Kobayashi" after it. Like "Kobayashi Travel" our tour company. What a coincidence, yah.

Me and Sweetie left the museum a little before everybody else because we wanted a little extra time to explore the area.










We startled this bird, and then it startled us when it made a loud whooshing sound as it flew off. It was huge and so beautiful. I wish my reaction time was quicker so that I coulda got a better shot.


We arrived at our hotel, the Hiroshima Rihga Royal, later in the afternoon. Just like most of our other hotel rooms, this one was really nice.

But the best, best feature of all was this huge picture window. Have you ever seen anything like this?

This was our view. Isn't that unreal?

The hotel is located near this Sogo Department Store.

This multilevel shopping area is between the hotel and the department store. Howzdat, hah?

Right after settling in, we met our guide in the hotel lobby. She led us to this shopping arcade.

Surprisingly, me and Sweetie didn't stop here at this 100-yen store.  We opted to check out a Don Quijote instead.

We were on our own for dinner. We bought a few bread things from a small bakery in the mall and we got the sushi and the tako salad from the basement of the Sogo Department Store.

I thought it was neat that they gave me this small ice pack to help keep the tako salad cold. In fact, when we returned to shop there again the next day, we found a table with a small ice chest that was filled with these. 

Only two more days to go. 


Anonymous said...

Hahaha, that toilet thing happen to my husband too at a train station. He has only 2 ft of colon left so he has to go OFTEN and not SQUAT!!!! (TMI???) He pressed the wrong button but he just ran out of there before the attendant came.
Also, they sell dekopon here between Feb-April. Marukai: $3.49 each! so about same price. But I found some for $1.99/lb!!! at Manoa Safeway so I bought a lot. Whole Foods has them too for $5.something per lb. They are on the tart side but very delicious, juicy. I found some seed in them so I planted it. They usually don't have seeds and are called Sumo oranges here.

Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying your Japan trip photos - thanks for sharing them!

We were just at the Hiroshima Rihga Royal this past New Years and enjoyed our stay there.


Anonymous said...

j: oh I love this - my grandparents, issei, came from Hiroshima. It was so cool to see such displays and know where they came from. I do love the Hawaii Plantation Village too. I can spend hours in there imagining my grandparents and my father and his siblings living like that. Oh and Sogo - that's really an old time store just like Daimaru. I remember eating at Daimaru. In certain ways Japan has always been so progressive. Love the ice pack, would love to have those for my town shopping instead gotta lug my own ice packs. Awesome...and boo hoo only 2 more dayz. -N

Anonymous said...

j: BTW so funny on the toilet. I can just imagine how mortified you were as that sounds like sumthin' I would do too! You shared your toilet experience with those people, oh so shame. I feel for ya! -N

jenny said...

WAT?!?! you never went into daiso?? how's dat! Hahaha nah, j/k. Great pictures! Your Japan posts put mine to shame! I love your details and pictures, thanks for sharing.

jalna said...

Ahahaha, so glad that I'm not the only one, V! I did learn to squat on this trip . . . mostly because I'm impatient and couldn't see waiting in a long line for a western toilet when the Japanese ones were available. I'm so happy that the dekopon are available here. Now I don't feel like I wasted the opportunity. Thanks!

Thanks Myra! I really, really the Rihga Royal too.

N, I dunno why but for some reason I thought that you were nissei. Maybe because your mom can translate for you or maybe because your first name is Japanesey. And that is the perfect word for how I felt . . . mortified!

I know, Jenny! No Daiso! But we knew we didn't have much time before the stores would be closing and we had to choose. I'm loving your Japan posts too. I love your stories. I was looking forward to learning about your Japan trip and you didn't disappoint. Disneyland was a great experience for me through your eyes. Thanks!

Kay said...

I'm having so much fun with you. You didn't go to the Daiso store??? It was my favorite place to go. I bought a lot of stuff I was warned I wouldn't use. Sure enough, but I had fun anyway.

Even my mom who understands and reads Japanese as her first language goofs up at the bathrooms.

K and S said...

this is a really good tour!

jalna said...

I knoooow, Kay . . . the Daiso store! We only had about an hour left before closing time. Don Quijote was a little further away and because we had already been to several 100-yen stores and Sweetie was looking for something in particular at DQ, we chose DQ. I wish the stores would close later there.

It is yah, Kat. I would love to take another tour with Kobayashi next fall. Only thing . . . expensive . . . around $5,000 for 2 weeks. But it's worth it.

Honolulu Aunty said...

That was funny! Hope you only did #1 and not leave #2 for them to deal with.

Beautiful Hiroshima! Wonderful breakfasts! I think I would get too spoiled with the Japanese breakfasts and be all disappointed at home with my unchanging and boring cereal and coffee every morning.

Thanks for sharing, even the embarrassing stuff. Machiagatta is one of my most used Japanese words.

Lorna said...

Actually, if the $5000 covered airfare, ground transportation and hotels, that's not bad. We travel on our own, and it costs less, of course, but then we don't get to see as many places as you do (b/c, to be honest, we sometimes get lost and then wander around like dodos - but it's okay to be lost, too, since Japan is so safe). Of course, flying from Kauai, we have to pay for the interisland leg (ugh). I do love your photos; you and my cousin Kay both have such an eye for bringing us in).

jalna said...

I did #1, Aunty. But I might've flushed it when I pressed all the buttons. I don't even know.

Thanks for confirming that, Lorna. I'm not a seasoned traveler. I don't know how to book stuff on my own. I always wondered if it would be worth it if we did all the leg work ourselves. But it's just so convenient to have everything done for us.

Mark Shelby said...

I want what's in the huge boiling pot! ; )

You jus know it's good!

jalna said...

I'm curious about that soup too, Mark.

Nippon Nin said...

I love sumo orange. Cross between grapefruits and mandarin orange I think. Pricy here too.

I enjoying your trip photo and smiling at your comments (more like laughing).

Japanese toilet (they call it washlet) is high tech! Love to have in my bathroom.

jalna said...

I love the washlet too, Akemi!