It was cloudy and I couldn't see Mount Fuji, but here is a snow mountain between Nagoya and Kyoto:
I'm staying in the Sheraton Hiroshima, the ONLY Starwood property located at a Shinkansen station. It's six years old, and quickly becoming one of my favorites. The Club Lounge is better than Tokyo Westin's, and the dinner buffet at Bridges was at half price:
- Four years ago I gave a talk at Hiroshima National University, where they treated me to a Japanese dinner with 12 flights of sake.
- Six years ago, in my capacity as the Chicken Little reporter on the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, I carried on a forum discussion with colleagues from around the world, which resulted in a Huffington Post article: Why Worry About Fukushima When Hiroshima and Nagasaki Are Safe?
- Headquarters of Mazda, which stands for Matsuda.
- In addition to okonomiyaki (right), people here tend to send you to oyster restaurants.
- It is famous for manju (dough covering sweet bean paste) and anko (sponge cake)
- Everyone goes to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, for the city is known as the peace capital of the world.
- Also, Miyajima (right), the Shrine Island, is a must. A Japan Rail Pass allows your free ferry passage.
- Shukkei-en Garden, once the home of Emperor Meiji, will be 400 years old in 2020. I was told that the Peace Park has no cherry blossoms, but this Garden blooms earlier, so maybe.
- They have a zoo.
Otherwise, each ride costs around $2. First, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where I actually saw my first Sakura:
But this was at the base of a tree. Otherwise, no Cherry Blossoms at this park. It was on 6 August 1945 that Little Boy was dropped over Hiroshima:
From utter devastation to a clarion call for Lovf and Peace:
Their beef apparently has won some awards. It started with cuttlefish and beer:
Then the meal:
They serve the rice, tsukemono and miso soup at the end:
Orange sherbert and green tea:
There were, of course, other flowers:
You need to cross bridges (what you see below is maybe a sixth of the actual length) to walk around, and none of them had any railing, which was spooky for me. Here, some kimono-clad girls enchanted with a pigeon:
As satisfying as it was to finally see Sakura in bloom, the koi here were incredibly stunning, and I think some were a yard long, and really fat. There is no black koi here. My Blue Bar led me to a lot of gold koi:
There were turtles and unusual koi color combinations;
Walking back to my hotel room, I noticed in a shop at the train station that a small bottle of White Horse and a small cup of ice cream were about the same price. White Horse happens to be my favorite "not too expensive" scotch. That is because it is the primary blend in Lagavulin, my favorite scotch. For dinner I just went to the Club Lounge and had the following:
Tomorrow I'm off to Nagasaki to visit their peace park. I hope their Sakura will be in bloom.