On tuesday morning we packed up our bags, checked out of the hotel and headed off on the next leg of our trip - Hiroshima. It was a two hour journey south and interesting to find ourselves in quite a different city to Kyoto. After dumping our bags at the hotel, we headed straight to a local restaurant for lunch and found a fab little place that served a type of ramen with pork and cabbage. We sat at the bar and were given paper bibs to catch the inevitable slops - it was scrumptious!
We then headed on to the Peace Park and the Atom Bomb Memorial Museum, just over the bridge. Needless to say, it was quite a moving experience, learning about the build up and events around the atom bombing in 1945, but one we felt it was needed to be done on a trip to Japan. It was quite upsetting to see how badly damaged the city and its people were, but amazing to see how a city rebuilt itself into what it is today. Afterwards, we walked along the river and took in the beautiful blossom trees that flanked each side.
After a much needed rest at the hotel, we headed out for food and to an okonomiyaki restaurant. There are many variations of okonomiyaki around Japan, and I have tried versions in Tokyo, but this one was different and included a pancake-like item. We sat at the bar and it was fab to watch the chef make his creation.
First he places a dollop of batter on the hot plate and spreads it out into a nice thin pancake shape.
Then he adds a massive pile of finely shredded cabbage, as well as your choice of toppings. I had seaweed, fish flakes, shrimp and pork.
The concoction is then flipped and pressed down hard onto the hot plate to help flatten it. At the same time he is frying a small pile of noodles. The pancake concoction is then slipped onto the frying noodles and then slipped to one side.
He then breaks an egg, spreads it out on the hot plate and fries it slightly before sliding the pancake concoction on top of it and then flipping it over.
The final touch is some gorgeous thick barbeque-type sauce slathered on with a big brush. It is then served to you on the hot plate in front of you, where you carve it up and serve yourself.
A merry time was had by all!