Instead of talking about somewhere I went during my stay in Tokyo, I’m here to announce a new trip to Japan this tsuyu! I didn’t think I’d be able to go again so soon, but apparently luck is on my side. The plane tickets are already bought, I just have to reserve the hostels and finish sorting out a few things and it’ll be all ready!
I was thinking about going to Kyoto-Osaka-Nara-Koya as most people do, maybe throw in the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi hike if I had time, but after a while I asked myself why I was going to these places instead of others. I definitely feel like Kyoto has a traditional side to offer that I hadn’t seen on my Tokyo trip, and is a great and convenient place to visit for a first-timer or someone who is only going to Japan once, but there are plenty of other places where I can also experience Japanese culture that may be less commercialised or touristy. I definitely don’t negate that Kyoto is a beautiful place, but was this really the trip I wanted and would remember in a future as something special, or was I just crossing off Japan’s ‘must-sees’?
Though it was hard because I kept changing my mind on where to go (first Beppu or Izumo, then I wanted to go to Aomori, then I discovered Sasebo…), but I finally settled on Hiroshima. I’ve been wanting to go to Hiroshima for years and after reading more about the city and its past I just can’t wait. I’ve also done a bit of research about what to do in the area and I finally came up with my itinerary!
I’ll be landing and departing through Osaka Airport and going to many places in Chûgoku along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. Just like last time here’s more or less what I have planned (still subject to change).
Day 1) Arrival at around 8am, so I’ll reach Himeji at around 11am. Day mostly to rest so no big plans (maybe Tatsuno and Shingu Miyauchi Ruins if I’m feeling adventurous)
Day 2) Mt.Shosha hike in the morning. Ako + Bizen and staying in the small town of Asakuchi
Day 3) Fukuyama + Onomichi temple walk
Day 4) A bit of the Shimanami Kaido (Mukoujima, Innoshima, Ikuchi Island and Takaneshima)
Days 5-7) Hiroshima
Day 8) Miyajima full day
Day 9) Iwakuni + Yanai
Day 10) Kure + Takehara + Mihara
Day 11) Kurashiki + Okayama Castle and Korakuen if time
Day 12) Okayama Castle and Korakuen if I didn’t have time the day before and Bitchu-Takahashi the rest of the day
Day 13) Kibi Plain cycling + Shizutani School
Day 14) Himeji Castle + Kokoen. Kobe in the afternoon and a bit of Osaka after dark. I need to be at the airport early next morning
It may be surprising that I’m spending three full days in Hiroshima, but the city has so many things to do! I was actually thinking of adding more, but I think that I can return another time and see a bit more of the area on this trip instead.
I don’t think I’ll be able to finish the senbazuru in time so I’ll take with me around 30-40 cranes and just leave them individually at the memorial sites in Hiroshima.
Kobe also has so much to offer, but unfortunately I don’t have the time to go there much. I’ve given it half a day but I could easily stay three or four days there! Osaka for some reason doesn’t excite me so much, but as my last night in the country I’m sure I can enjoy some good night views of the castle, Umeda Sky Building and Dotonbori. Osaka is a great night city so I thought I’d end my trip there.
I really like talking about planning trips because it allows me to dream about what is going to happen, as well as hearing feedback and other people’s opinions on my route. So feel free to tell me your opinions!
And don’t worry: I’ll go to Kyoto another time of course! I just don’t think that it’s what I’m looking for at this particular time.