Day 5 Kobe & Arima Hot Springs
I finally couldn’t stand how cold it was hence I went to Uniqlo early in the morning to get a nice jacket. After which I somehow wondered around and ended up through their Chinatown which I never expected considering all the China Hate I see on the news between Japan and China. Nonetheless, the chinese food was nice and I got to try some Kobe Beef, which was expensive considering it was $15Aud for a few bites. I was disappointed that it didn’t taste particularly nice but then again it might not have even been real Kobe Beef since I bought it off the streets. A strange incident happened where a little girl thought I was her father lol and hugged my leg.
Again getting lost on the train stations( hahaha every day!) I arrived at Arima Hot Springs( I didn’t even know it was famous for its hot springs). It was a very hilly place with a small strip of hot spring water where people could sit down and soak their feet in to ease some pain from walking too much. Being uncomfortable with going to a public hot spring in the middle of the day and also not bringing any spare change of clothes, I only tried the foot hot spring after passing through a small shrine and toy museum. I vaguely recall seeing a man reversing into an ornament of a shop. Its a strange scene where the man went to apologise to the manager and the manager just said don’t worry about it(from what I gathered from their body language), once again reminding me how polite Japanese people are.
After arriving back at Sannomiya, I had to go look for one my luggage which I locked up at one of the stations( good things about travelling in japan), however, the stations in Japan are all so close to each other and have multiple entrances(bad thing about Japan), so it took a while to find my luggage after which I headed for Hiroshima on the shinkansen.
By the time I got to Hiroshima, it was already dark, so I just stayed at whichever hotel I found(its probably a good idea to book hotels several days in advance rather than on the day to save some money). Had cup noodles for dinner but still a good meal( at least they had free breakfast buffet in the morning).
Note: its also a good idea to get a phone case especially during Winter in Japan, my battery froze to death…
Day 6 Itsukushima Island and Hiroshima
After a very good breakfast buffet of bacon and eggs and hot soup at the hotel, I took a ferry to Itsukushima to see that famous red gate in the sea. Itsukushima has got to be my second favourite place I visited on this trip. On the island was a very tall pagoda and you could take a zipline to the top of the island’s Mount Misen which had an amazing view.
One of the crappy things about travelling solo with your luggage is that you always have to share transport on the return trip( being cramped in a tiny gondola with a luggage between your legs with 5 other people is not exactly comfortable).
By the time I got back to Hiroshima it was some time in the afternoon. I took a street car to the Hiroshima Dome Memorial Museum. It was a very interesting tour despite my lack of interest in war and politics. It was interesting to learn that when the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima, it was like having a miniature sun very close to the city.
The last stop of the day was Hiroshima Castle, but too bad it was closed by the time I got there. So I headed for Kyoto to stay at a low budget hostel to save some money. Although quite frankly, the trip so far has been very cheap from an Australian point of view. I vaguely recall after leaving Hiroshima that I wanted to go to Rabbit Island to see the rabbits, guess I’ll go back next time.
Day 7 Venice of Japan
After taking my friends advice, I headed out to Amanohashidate, otherwise known as the Venice of Japan to see the boat houses. It was a very nice cosy small island which wasn’t very touristy, which makes it my third most favourite place on this trip. I walked for about an hour around the small island passing friendly locals before having lunch at their only restaurant. Being once again confronted by a Japanese menu, I randomly picked what appeared to be raw fish and rice. I can only vaguely remember the fish being very fresh.
By the time I headed back to Kyoto it was already evening so I headed back to the hostel. I think it was safe to say by this time being the second night I shared a room with other people who did not speak English and basically having nothing between us whilst sleeping, that I decided I would go find a hotel at my next location.
Day 8 Mount Arashiyama & Fushimi Inari
As part of my minimal research of Japan before leaving, one of the things on my to do list was to feed monkeys at Jikokudani( more on this later), but anyway I found Mount Arashiyama to be a tourist site nearby so I headed for the place. Wondering through the beautiful streets of Kyoto, and ended up in a nice shrine which lead to a bamboo garden.
After visiting the garden, I found out about the Macaque reserve atop Mount Arashiyama. It took about a 20 minute walk up hill before reaching the place where the macaques were kept but it was a good experience, especially whilst teasing them with food. Got to say they do get quite aggressive when I fed them peanut shells hahaha.
After visiting the macaques, I headed to the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. It was a nice walk all the way to the top through the view at the top wasn’t particularly spectacular after walking for a good half an hour. After reaching back down the shrine, I tried some of the street food but one of the odd things of Japan being a very clean country is that they do not have bins around the city, nor do they give you napkins when serving food. I was even refused a napkin after purchasing food so I guess its a good idea to bring tissues next time I go to Japan.
I spent the rest of the day travelling to Nagoya and stayed at my first capsule hotel. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any photos inside worried that I might invade other people’s privacy, but it was a very nice modern Capsule hotel and the capsule I stayed in even had a computer and a safe.