Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima, Japan

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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
Hiroshima + Miyajima, Japan

Hiroshima + Miyajima, Japan

Kyoto (Arashiyama and Moss Temple)

Kyoto (Arashiyama and Moss Temple)