After an absolutely epic transit day, we finally arrived in our hotel (Hotel Active) in central Hiroshima.
To be approximately precise…
Sounkyo to Kamikawa – Bus – 22km
Kamikawa to Asahikawa – Diesel Train – 50km
Asahikawa to New Chitose Airport – Electric Train – 175km
New Chitose Airport to Fukuoka – Plane – 1400km
Fukuoka to Hakata – Subway – 3km
Hakata to Hiroshima – Shinkansen Train – 250km
Hiroshima to our hotel – Tram – 1km
I know it’s childish, but I did chuckle when I saw the baggage tag…
As we only had an evening and a morning in Hiroshima we ignored our fatigue and went in search of food!
Mention Hiroshima to any foodie and the first thing they’ll start talking about is the dish known as okonomiyaki. Some call it Japanese pizza, but other than the fact it’s circular, it really bears no other similarities. We had heard about a particular building in Hiroshima called Okinomimura that contained dozens of tiny restaurants, all specialising in okonomiyaki. We ended up at Shinchan on the second floor right at the last restaurant on the left hand side as it was packed with people and had a great atmosphere.
Okonomiyaki can be made a number of ways, but the most traditional includes a base layer of batter, then layers of cabbage, pork, noodles, egg, and sauce (bbq-ish). Other ingredients can include spring onions, squid, oysters or cheese.
The actual cooking of okonomiyaki is really theatrical, with the chef doing the cooking on a massive stainless steel sheet that normally extends right up to your plate. To get the layering right they’ll start with one set of layers and then flip it, add some more ingredients and keep cooking. Normally the egg is put down first, and then when it’s flipped it becomes the topmost layer.
We’d never had okonomiyaki before so we weren’t sure what to expect. In the end our hopes were justified because it was delicious, particularly with a massive mug of beer to go with it!
This one of those foods that I think Autralians would really grow to love, particularly for those times on a Saturday night when you’re sick of kebabs and want something a little different, but that will still hit the spot!