For the last big stop on my week of travelling I had planned to go back to Hiroshima, where I had spent my year two years ago. Time definitely flew by since then, but I finally had the chance to meet some really great friends again. The first day was spent in Hiroshima City, where I met with Tadahiko and Manami again, who were bot fellow students at Hiroshima University.
Even though the weather had slowly been getting worse I wanted to see the city center again, so we went for a walk through the Peace Park and the shopping arcades of Hiroshima City. Basically nothing had changed since I had left two years ago, so it was nice to walk on known paths again, that were carrying quite a few good memories for me. Afterwards, we also did some window shopping, before going for a coffee, hot chocolate and parfait respectively.
As I was going to stay at Tadahiko’s place that evening (again, thanks a lot, man!), we went back to Saijo afterwards and had some ramen noodles together. Still one of my favourite kind of dishes in Japan, especially Hakata Ramen from Fukuoka.
The next day saw me walk a bit through Saijo again, where I went to visit the grounds of Hiroshima University again, as well as the sake area. I spend a nice lunch break at Q, which looks like an american surfer shack from the outside, but is easily one of the very best places to eat Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki. And I also took another break for a nice piece of cake at the Kugurimon café in the sake area. I’m not sure, if the place existed two years ago, but they had a really nice atmosphere in there, so I took my time to write some postcards from there ^^
The evening was spent at Chad’s and Chisaki’s (who are now having an adorable little son, whom I’m definitely going to teach some German vocabulary to annoy Chad a bit next time ;-P) place, who were so nice to host me for two nights and to organise a really awesome dinner with some friends from two years ago. Needless to say, it was a great evening, it became really late and we might have been a liiiittle bit drunk (I still can’t believe we drank all that sake in the end oO). Just like in the old days, basically 😉
For the following day, despite some remaining hangover, Chad and I went to the sake area in the afternoon, to visit all the breweries again and have a taste of the new sake for this year (early spring is the time when they produce the new sake). Now that might not have been the most ingenious idea we’ve ever had, but we had a great afternoon, that continued seemlessly into a great karaoke session in the evening with Marcelo, Takao and Dmitry.
So miraculously, we still had a bit of a hangover the next day as well, but as it was the day of the spring sake festival, we needed to go to the sake area again, as there were some of the most premium sake brands of the country available to try for free – and warm amazake (甘酒), which is one of the most awesome drinks you can have on a cold late winter’s day. It’s basically sweet sake, with a very low alcohol content, but is still heating you up from the inside nonetheless. Brilliant stuff!
Wit this preparation, we finally set out for a hike up to the mountain behind Saijo station, which allows for a nice view over the city on a good day. On the way, we had barbecue with Takao first, however, who is one of the best equipped campers I have ever met. And one of the best barbeque-ers at the same time! Needless to say, we were really stuffed, when we continued our hike up to the top of the mountain. Also, for some reason, either our stamina wasn’t as good as two years ago or we had chosen the difficult path uphill, as they had extremely high stairs that made us breathe quite heavily extremely fast xD
But in the end we made it, even though the weather was not so much in our favour, concerning the view:
Still, a climb well worth it and a great memory to our hikes two years ago. I really enjoyed the few days in Hiroshima and will definitely come again in the future!