Boiling Point (Main Street)

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Spicy Fermented Tofu

Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Boiling Point now has locations all across Metro Vancouver. The latest addition is on Main Street and King Edward. If you’ve been to the Richmond location, you will know how busy it is! My friends are obsessed with Boiling Point, so they are excited that there is a new location now. Thanks to ChineseBites, I was able to check out the new space and samples some dishes.

To start, we tried some of their appetizers, including the Spicy Fermented Tofu. This is a typical Taiwanese snack and can have a funky smell. However, the flavour doesn’t taste weird at all. It just tastes like marinated tofu and this one was also spicy. The texture was medium to firm and great inside the hot pot as well.

 

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Spicy Beef, Garlic Pork Belly, Spicy Cumin Lamb

We also tried some of their cooked meats. These are essentially the meats you will find in the hot pots, but they have a sauce on top. The Spicy Beef came with the typical Chinese mala spicy sauce. However, it’s not overly spicy and the beef itself was thin and tender. The Garlic Pork Belly was seasoned with some soy, garlic and a bit of chili. Because it was sliced so thin, the fat didn’t bother me at all. The last was the Spicy Cumin Lamb which reminded me of the Mongolian skewers you can get at the night market. Again, it was overly spicy though.

 

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Korean Bean Paste Hot Soup

As for the hot pots, they come as individual pots, so perfect for those who hate sharing pots. For each pot, you can choose the spicy level and it comes with a complimentary bowl of rice or vermicelli. During lunch, the prices are slightly cheaper and also includes a free green or black tea. Our table each chose a different pot and one of them included the Korean Bean Paste Hot Soup. This pot includes soybean sprouts, nira, green zucchini, kimchi, pork belly, fish tofu, kamaboko, tempura, rice cake, enoki mushroom, fish fillet, wok noodle, lobster fish ball, crown daisy, seaweed, and Korean paste. This is actually one of the pots I always get because I enjoy the kick from the kimchi.

 

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Japanese Miso Hot Soup

The Japanese Miso Hot Soup comes with cabbage, udon, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, clam, Fuzhou fish ball, fish fillet, king oyster mushroom, crab, fried tofu skin, soft tofu, egg, and green onion. This one is more mild and will satisfy your Japanese cravings with all the Japanese ingredients like udon and the miso base.

 

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Milk Cream Curry Hot Soup

The Milk Cream Curry Hot Soup is a new addition to the menu. I remember they used to have just the plain Curry Hot Pot, but now they added this milky cream which I find a little odd. This features napa, vermicelli, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, imitation crab stick, fish ball, fried tofu skin, corn, tempura, jicama, chinese string bean, and sea salt cream. To be honest, I think I prefer the old version more as I don’t find the cream to add any flavour to the soup.

 

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Taiwanese Spicy Hot Soup

The Taiwanese Spicy Hot Soup is one of the pots where you cannot choose the spicy level because it automatically comes as flaming spicy! It features cabbage, instant noodle, sliced angus beef, tempura, enoki mushroom, clam, Fuzhou fish ball, cuttlefish ring, pork intestine, wasabi rice ball, fried tofu skin, maitake mushroom, iced tofu, green onion, and cilantro. Perfect for those who love spicy. My girl friend who loves everything spicy always orders this one!

 

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House Special Hot Soup

For myself, I decided to try something new for once and chose the House Special Hot Soup. The pot features napa, fermented tofu, sliced pork, enoki mushroom, kamaboko, pork meat ball, clam, quail egg, pork blood, pork intestine, nira, preserved vegetables, tomato, and cilantro. Because the pot has fermented tofu, this pot has a bit of that funky smell. The soup base is really flavourful though and perfect if you want to get a bit more of that authentic Taiwanese style hot pot. The only downside is I don’t really enjoy eating pork blood and intestines, so I end up skipping those ingredients! I also ordered the Hokkaido Milk Tea which is my favourite drink here. It’s so smooth and I always end up gulping this down quickly because of how good it is!

 

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Milky Soft Herbal Jelly

To end our night, we tried their latest dessert which was the Milky Soft Herbal Jelly. Look at how cute the take out box is! I love how it comes with the condensed milk as well!

 

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This is what it looks like if you eat in. Typical herbal jelly with a nice sweet condensed milk to pair. A nice way to end your flavourful meal.

 

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Overall, the food at this new location tasted just as good as the Richmond location which I usually visit. This location seems to be less busy which is a good thing for us since I hate waiting at the Richmond location. A perfect new spot for diners living in Vancouver! Always good especially during the cold rainy nights!

 

Boiling Point Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Mag’s 99 Fried Chicken and Mexican Cantina

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After our trip near Squamish to bungee jump, I suggested we stop by Mag’s 99 Fried Chicken and Mexican Cantina for an early dinner. I read really good online reviews and it was just off the highway so really easy to get to. Look for the golden yellow building and you won’t miss it!

 

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To be honest, the interior can really use some renovations. It’s pretty ghetto looking and definitely more of a fast food restaurant. However, the place is packed! We were told that we would need to wait 30 minutes for our food but that clearly didn’t stop anyone from eating here. You order up front and they take down your name. Then, they will call you when the food is ready for pick up.

 

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2 Piece Fried Chicken with Fries

We tried the 2 Piece Fried Chicken with Fries which was around $6. Honestly, I didn’t think it looked that good, but the chicken turned out to be pretty moist. I think I still prefer the ones at LA Chicken more. The skin is not as crispy as LA Chicken’s. Not bad if you’re looking for a cheap meal since the Whistler area can be very pricey.

 

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Pulled Pork Chimichanga

We also shared the famous Chimichanga which is HUGE. We chose to have pulled pork as the filling and this came to around $13.50. I highly suggest sharing this with a friend unless you are starving because it’s extremely filling.

 

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There were re-fried beans, corn, tomatoes, rice, and pulled pork inside the large chimichanga. Great flavours and definitely not for the weak!

Overall, I was pretty happy with my meal at Mag’s 99. I wouldn’t say this is worth making a trip just for the food, but if you are in the area, then this is a good option for a reasonably priced meal.

Pros:
– Decent fried chicken and Mexican eats
– Reasonable prices

Cons:
– Long wait for food
– Interior could really use some updates

Price Range: $20-50

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 3.5 Overall: 3

Mag's 99 Fried Chicken and Mexican Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ichigo Ichie Ramen

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Shoyu Ramen

The newest ramen spot in Richmond is called Ichigo Ichie Ramen and is located across Ironwood Mall near BMO. The restaurant doesn’t seem to be run by Japanese, so I wouldn’t expect authentic Japanese ramens. There are a variety of broths available and S chose the Shoyu. It featured soy sauce broth, green onion, seasoned egg, naruto maki, spinach, and shiitake mushrooms. The noodles here are medium thickness which I wasn’t a huge fan of. The broth itself was too salty and the consistency was very thin. We both found that it lacked flavour as it was more of one dimension salty flavour. The egg was also a hard boiled egg, so I wasn’t too happy with that.

 

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Mayu

For myself, I got the Mayu which is their spicy option. It featured garlic black oil, green onion, seasoned egg, bean sprouts, deep-fried garlic, and shiitake. Again, the broth was very thin in consistency and the broth lacked flavour. It was just very spicy, and tasted sort of like the instant ramen broths. I mean, the ramen, especially the noodles itself, weren’t bad, but we found it to be very average and too salty for our liking.

We also ordered a side of Karaage and these were excellent. The batter was crispy and the chicken remained very moist and juicy. I would come back for the fried chicken!

 

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Overall, we found Ichigo Ichie Ramen to be quite average. It’s a nice addition to people who work in the Steveston area given the limited options available, but I wouldn’t make a trip out here just for their ramen. If they can work on their broths, this could become a pretty good spot!

Pros:
– Chicken Karaage was really juicy
– Prices are quite reasonable

Cons:
– Broths could use improvement

Price Range: $10-15

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

 

Ichigo Ichie Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yui Japanese Restaurant

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Yui Oshi Plate

Took me a while to visit Yui Japanese Restaurant, but finally I came here with G for lunch while I was in downtown. The restaurant is quite hidden as it’s inside an office building next to the Trump Tower. Even after entering the office building, it’s not super obvious where the restaurant is, but head straight in and look to your right. Inside, the restaurant is extremely small, so we were lucky to even get a spot during lunch time.
The chefs used to work at Miku and Minami, so at Yui, they are known for the salmon aburi oshi that tastes similar to Miku/ Minami but for a fraction of the price.
During lunch, there are quite a few lunch only plates which are pretty affordable. G chose to get the Yui Oshi Plate, which is lunch only. For $11, you get two pieces of daily chef choice aburi nigiri, two pieces of salmon oshi, and a daily fresh roll. For the two aburi nigiri that the chef chooses, it was a ebi aburi oshi with pesto sauce and a tuna aburi nigiri with pickled sweet onions. As for the daily fresh roll, it was sadly just a california roll. Sounds like it’s the california roll most of the time from talking to other friends who have ordered this. Still, a good deal given you get four pieces of aburi with this lunch plate.

 

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Salmon Aburi Oshi

I of course had to try the Salmon Aburi Oshi so we decided to share a full plate of this which goes for $11. This seriously tastes and looked almost the same as the ones at Miku/ Minami. The only difference I found was that they put a lot more pepper on this. For this price, I would definitely come back here if I’m looking for a quick lunch. But on special occasions, I would still pay the higher price for the real thing at Miku/ Minami.

 

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Traditional Plate

For myself, I got the Traditional Plate, which is also on the lunch menu only. For $10.50, you get the daily chef’s choice of seven kinds of traditional style nigiri. To be honest, the selection is the cheaper selection of nigiris on the menu, but they were all very well constructed. The fish tasted fresh and for this price, I wouldn’t mind getting this again for lunch.

 

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Overall, I was quite impressed with the sushi at Yui. Don’t expect authentic Japanese food here since the chefs are not Japanese, but you can find some great aburi sushi and nigiris here for a reasonable price. The aburi oshi are especially a must try as they are very comparable to Miku/ Minami but for a cheaper price. The only downside is there isn’t much service during lunch time since they are so busy and the seating is also a bit cramped. You can also do take out here if you don’t want to wait for a seat!

 

Pros:
– Salmon aburi oshi is very comparable to Miku/ Minami
– Prices are reasonable for the quality

Cons:
– Seating is quite cramped

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 4

Yui Japanese Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Britannia Brewing Company

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The Britannia Brewing Company has opened for well over a year already. I can’t believe that I haven’t noticed this spot for so long. We definitely don’t have many craft beer spots in Richmond, so for Britannia to have both food and craft beers in an establishment, it makes it much more attracting. I believe they brew their beer on the other end of Steveston in the Ironwood area, so here, they just serve food and beers on tap.

 

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Whoever worked on the design of this spot seriously has good taste! I love the nautical white and blue theme and beautiful wooden furniture here. The patio outside which comfy pillows seriously make this the perfect spot in the summer.

 

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Mimosa

S, N, and I came here for brunch on the weekend. S started off with a glass of Mimosa. Other than beer, they have a variety of wines, cocktails, teas and coffees.

 

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Beer Paddle

For myself, I wanted to try their beers so chose the Beer Paddle. For $10, you can choose 4 different beers, including ciders. One of the ones I tried was the Chai Sasion which is something I haven’t seen before. Not a beer expert, but I quite enjoyed the various beers I tried. They also sometimes have guest taps available.

 

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Crab Benny

Brunch is available 9:30am to 1:30pm. There’s around 10 choices to choose from during brunch. N got the Crab Benny which was an interesting take on the classic. Instead of having english muffin on the bottom, it was served with a fried local crab cake on the bottom with 2 soft poached eggs and hollaindaise and hash browns on the side. Although the bennies had crab in it, I found the portions to be quite small for $16. It’s quite a light meal and I think many people would still be a bit hungry after.

 

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Gypsy Eggs

S and I both got the Gypsy Eggs which had chorizo, san marzano tomatoes, fennel, smoked paprika, and sourdough bread on the side. I liked the tart acidic tomato sauce which I dipped my bread in. The eggs were poached perfectly with the yolk spilling out. Again, slightly on the smaller side for $12. Maybe some hashbrowns on the side would make it a little more filling. However, the food itself tasted great.

 

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Overall, I’m happy to have learned about this new spot in Steveston village for brunch. I really think this is a great spot to catch up over food and drinks, especially in the summer when the patio is open. Not the cheapest, given the portion sizes, but at least the food is good.

Pros:
– Great beer and food
– Visually aesthetic interior design

Cons:
– Portions are slightly on the smaller side

Price Range: $15-25

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

Britannia Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yuzu Shokutei

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Yuzu Shokutei opened up earlier this year on Denman Street nearby Kingyo. The branding of the restaurant really caught my attention since its bright and fun. Plus, the pictures on their Instagram page really looked good! S and I decided to give it a try earlier in the summer when they were having a promo going on (yes – this post is from a while ago!).

 

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The deal was that if we liked their Instagram page, then we could get an appetizer and a pint of beer for $5. We got a pint of Sapporo which was refreshing after a long day at work!

 

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Takoyaki

For the appetizer, we got the Takoyaki (octopus balls) which were topped with mayo, bonito flakes and nori powder. I really enjoyed this as the outside batter was crispy with the center piping hot and soft. They had a large piece of octopus in each ball.

 

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Paiten Sea Salt Ramen

Both of us decided to try their ramen. Keep in mind that the restaurant actually has a variety of rice dishes as well, as they are more izakaya style, then a full on ramen restaurant. S got the Paiten Sea Salt Ramen which featured medium thickness noodles, slow cooked chicken broth, shio seasoning, aji-tamago, pork chashu, bamboo shoots, and green onions. The bowl had more than enough noodles but we both prefer the thin noodles at Danbo, so personally were not a huge fan. The broth itself was light in flavour and wasn’t overly salty, but we found it to be rather thick. As for the chashu, it was very interesting because the outer edges were very dark but not crispy. We thought it was slightly too fatty on the outer edge. I think if you like medium consistency noodles, then you will probably enjoy this.

 

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Chicken Truffle Sea Salt Ramen

For myself, I had to try the famous Chicken Truffle Sea Salt Ramen. This features their signature tori broth, truffle oil, shio seasoning, pork and chicken chashu, aji-tamago, bamboo shoots, green onion, enoki, and wilted gem tomatoes. There are so many toppings on this that I found it a little overwhelming. But the first thing I noticed was the smell of truffle! I could smell it as the server brought it over. To my disappointment, I found that the truffle flavour is not very apparent in the broth itself. You can definitely smell it, but the taste is not as strong. The broth is basically the same as the Paitan Sea Salt, where it was too thick for my liking. Noodles were also medium consistency, so perhaps the reason I wasn’t a huge fan of it. The tamago yolk was spilling out in the center but the edges were slightly overcooked, so could be worked on.

 

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Overall, we personally found Yuzu Shokutei’s ramens to be quite average based on the ones we tried as we personally aren’t a huge fan of medium consistency noodles and the thick broth. However, I have to say the ramens are quite interesting and modernized. The portions are also pretty good for $12-14 in downtown. But with all the ramen joints around this area, it may be difficult for Yuzu Shokutei to compete, but hopefully their other izakaya items can draw the crowds!

 

Pros:
– Truffle ramen is really interesting
– Friendly service

Cons:
– Personally didn’t enjoy the medium thickness of noodles and thick broth

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 4 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

Yuzu Shokutei Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

[Japan Series] Day 16: Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park 平和記念公園, Okonomimura お好み村, Hiroshima Castle 広島城

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The next morning, we woke up to the beautiful sunshine in Hiroshima. We had a quick breakfast at 7-Eleven near our Airbnb, and decided to take a short stroll towards the Peace Memorial Park. We had to cross this bridge from our Airbnb to get to the park.

 

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What a beautiful view from the bridge! This the Motoyasu River, which runs next to the A-Bome Dome.

 

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Walking along the bridge, you will see the A-Bomb Dome.

 

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The A-Bomb Dome is what’s left of the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. This building was used to promote Hiroshima’s industries. This is one of the few buildings that is standing today after the bomb. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a reminder of the past.

 

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You will find various information boards about the history but what we found the most interesting were the survivors you would find around the dome sharing pictures and stories with tourists. They provide many photographs of what the city looked like before and after, and although we could not understand the stories in Japanese, the pictures provided us with a vivid image of the past.

 

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The remains of the past can be seen by locals and tourists alike as they drive along the bridge. To be honest, I find the remains to be rather saddening even though it is a good reminder of the past and what should never be repeated. I can’t imagine and wonder what it is like being a local and seeing this everyday going to work.

 

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Further past the dome, you will find the Children’s Peace Monument. This monument is to commemorate Sadako Sasaki and thousands of child victims of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Sadako was a young girl who died of leukemia from the radiation and is well known as the girl who wanted to fold a thousand cranes.

 

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Under the monument, there is a bronze crane that acts as a wind chime.

 

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Outside the monument, there are thousands of paper cranes. Sadako’s one wish was to have a world without nuclear weapons. You can learn more about Sadako’s story inside the museum.

 

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Another bombed building near the park is the Rest House. It was originally a kimono shop, but now acts as a rest house and information center. There was actually a man who survived the bomb in the basement of the building and is the closest survivor to the hypocenter. You can actually make an advanced booking to visit the basement to see the preserved remains.

 

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Moving along, you will find the Hiroshima Pond of Peace. Surrounding it is beautiful lush green grass. It really feels peaceful taking a stroll here.

 

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Past the pond is a curved concrete monument that covers a cenotaph. It is aligned to frame the Peace Flame and A-Bomb Dome. It is a memorial with the names of all the people killed by the bomb.

 

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The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is at the end of the park and educates visitors about the atomic bombing in Hiroshima in World War II. Admission to the museum is only 200 yen and very well worth it.

 

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There are two wings in the museum. On one side, it describes Hiroshima before the bomb, the development of the bomb, and why the bomb was dropped. On the other side, it shows the damage of the bomb.

 

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When we went, one side of the museum was under construction, so we only got to visit the side which showed the remains of the bomb. We saw many remains of clothing, watches, and personal items like bikes that were left after the radiation. Many of the displays are quite upsetting and remind us not to take peace for granted.

 

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I think we ended up spending around two hours in the museum. There is lots to see and each display has both Japanese and English captions. There are lots to learn and it was the highlight of our trip in Hiroshima. Inside the building, you will be able to get a view of the park as well.

 

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After visiting the museum, we decided to get on the Maple-oop which is a JR operated loop bus for tourists. This is perfect for those who have the JR Rail Pass, because getting on these buses are free and they stop at most of the tourist attractions. If you do not have the pass, you can pay 200 yen per ride or 400 yen for a 1-day pass. We found this very useful as there is English on the bus, and was a great way to sight see the whole city. Just note that the last bus is roughly before 6pm, so you will need to find alternate modes of transportation after.

 

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One of the stops on this bus included Okonomimura. If you get off at the Namiki Hondori stop, you will find Okonomimura a 2 minute walk away. This building has 24 okonomiyaki stores throughout its four floors! It was quite overwhelming and it took us a while to decide on which restaurant to eat at.

 

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We ended up at restaurant that featured oysters in their okonomiyaki as I hear that is a must try in Hiroshima. I really liked how you could watch the okonomiyaki being made in front of you.

 

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Our okonomiyaki was definitely picture worthy! We got one with pork inside and topped with tons of green onions, oysters, and a sunny side egg. Amazing! However, I personally still prefer the Osaka-style okonomiyaki where all the ingredients are mixed together. I find that the Hiroshima style has way too much cabbage and the ingredients fall apart a lot easier. But still, this was delicious!

 

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After a late lunch, we headed to Hondori Street which is located in the downtown area of Hiroshima. This is just like any other Japanese city, where the shopping area is pedestrian only with a covered arcade. Since we had been in japan for over two weeks now, many of the shops were similar and we didn’t find anything too interesting. We also noticed that the downtown of Hiroshima was way less busy than the other cities we had visited. I guess this can be a relief for some who dislike the crowds.

 

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After some shopping, I suggested we visit the Hiroshima Castle ((広島城), since it is a stop on the JR sightseeing bus loop. Like most buildings, the oriignal Hiroshima Castle was destroyed during the atomic bomb. This was rebuilt with concrete and a wooden exterior. There is a museum inside providing information about Hiroshima’s history as well as Japanese castles. Entry is 370 yen, but we found the information to be just average. We personally aren’t interested in castles though.

 

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I guess what we enjoyed the most about the castle was that on the 4th floor, you can enjoy stunning views of Hiroshima city.

 

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We even got to catch sunset here! If you are looking for an observation deck in Hiroshima, then the castle isn’t a shabby one.

 

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As the evening arrived, we found the city to be rather quiet contrary to the bustling cities of Tokyo and Osaka. The city was dim and quiet, with many shops closing rather early. We decided to head back to our Airbnb and get some rest as we would have a full day of traveling back to Narita (which would take almost 6 hours) as we caught our flight back to Vancouver. Ending our trip in Hiroshima was perhaps a good way to end our trip as it was rather slow paced which paired perfectly with our tired legs. It was also a good reminder to not take things for granted in this world we live in.

And this concludes our travels in Japan! Hope you enjoyed our travels and found some useful information here! Feel free to email me or comment below if you have any other questions. Until next time, Japan!

 

 

[Japan Series] Day 15: Miyajima 宮島, Hiroshima 広島

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On the last two days of our Japan trip, we would be spending it in Hiroshima (広島). From Osaka station to Hiroshima station, it takes around 2.5 hours with the JR bullet train. A long train ride, but the JR shinkansens are so comfortable, so time really passes by quickly.

 

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Once we arrived at Hiroshima station, we needed to take a tram to our Airbnb. Hiroshima uses trams instead of trains to get around the city. There are a mix of new and older trams. This one is one of the newer trams and is quite nice!

 

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The trams are quite spacious and work similar to the buses. You can use the Paspy and Icoca IC cards to pay for your fare on the trams and buses in Hiroshima.

 

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The city streets in Hiroshima are definitely much more modest and quiet. You won’t really find the neon lights and electronic billboards like you would find in Tokyo. I do appreciate that the city is much more spacious and the likelihood of being in crowds like in Tokyo and Osaka is unlikely.

 

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Our Airbnb was a short walk from the tram and also walking distance from the A-Bomb Dome. The room was definitely very cozy and one of the smaller Airbnbs we stayed in. However, it had everything we needed and was extremely clean. There was even a huge bottle of sake for us to enjoy!

 

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After settling in, it was already mid afternoon, so we decided to head to Miyajima Island. Our initial plan was to visit the island the following day after visiting the Peace Memorial Museum as we thought it would be more uplifting, but due to the time we arrived, it didn’t make sense to visit the museum near closing.

 

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To get to Miyajima Island, we first had to take a tram to Yokogawa station. From there, we took the JR Sanyo line to Miyajimaguchi Station. You can also get to Miyajimaguchi Station from Hiroshima Station and that would take roughly 25 minutes.

 

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When you get to Miyajimaguchi Station, follow the signs and you will find the ferry pier.

 

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The ferries depart quite frequently to Miyajima Island and only takes 10 minutes. This is covered under the JR rail pass if you have it.

 

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The ferry is quite large and you can even stand outside to take pictures. I think you can also bring your car on the ferry. As we were departing quite late in the day, there were not that many people on the ferry, making it easy for us to get a good spot for sightseeing.

 

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The ferry ride seriously goes by in no time. As we reached Miyajima Island (宮島), we saw the famous red torii gate which floats on water.

 

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Once we got off the ferry, we realized that there are lots of deer on this island! Very similar to Nara, but of course not as many. I really wonder how they got to this island! If you don’t get a chance to visit Nara, then this will do!

 

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Along the way, there are some shops that sell souvenirs and snacks.

 

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After a short walk, we reached the floating red torii gate. This is the view you get if you choose not to pay to enter the shrine. It’s pretty good but more on an angle. Unfortunately, there was a bit of construction going on, so the gate was slightly blocked. As we reached the island in the late afternoon, this was high tide and therefore the gate appears to be floating. If you arrive earlier in the day, the tide will be low and therefore you can actually walk all the way out to the gate! You should check out this website to time when you visit the island so you can hopefully visit at both low and high tide!

 

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This is the Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) which is also built over the water. Entry fee into the shrine is 300 yen and consists of multiple buildings, including a prayer hall, a main hall and theater stage. You will also get a view of the torii gate straight on instead of at an angle. We didn’t end up going inside the shrine, but would imagine this is a great attraction especially during low tide so you can wakl straight up to the gate.

 

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Not far from the shrine, a small hike will get you to the Senjokaku (千畳閣), which translates to the pavilion of 1,000 mats because the size of the pavilion can literally fit 1,000 tatami mats. This old building dates back to the 1587 and this costs 100 yen to enter. It is the largest structure on Miyajima Island.

 

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The Five-storied Pagoda is adjacent to the Senjokaku and was originally built in the 1400s but restored in 1533. It enshrines the Buddha of Medicine and is quite beautiful to see up close. I don’t think you can enter inside, so the attraction is free to view.

 

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As the sun set, we decided to head back to the souvenir streets. Many of them had already closed as it was rather late. I imagine there isn’t much to do around the island at night if you stay overnight here.

 

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There was one shop that was bustling with crowds. This was the grilled oyster stall! There are actually many grilled oyster stalls along the Miyajima Omotesando shopping street. However, as we went pretty late, most of them were closed. This stall itself closed shortly after we placed our order as well.

 

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Here, you can get a variety of ways the oysters are cooked. Of course, the most famous is to get them grilled with charcoal. The grilled oysters here are a pretty good deal at 2 for 400 yen. However, the downside is this is just a stall, so there are no seating areas. There are a few stools around but more of a quick eat and go stop.

 

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The oysters take a while to grill, so we walked around the streets before heading back to grab our order. Here, we have two grilled oysters. A nice char and the oysters themselves are plump and fresh. Highly recommend if you’re an oyster lover!

 

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We also got the deep fried oysters. These are smaller oysters which they have skewered onto a stick. Really good as well! If you are looking for a sit down restaurant for oysters, then Kakiya and Yakigaki are among the most famous on Miyajima Island. Oysters are a must eat in Hiroshima and Miyajima!

 

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Another well known food item is the Momiji Manjyu, which are maple leaf shaped pastries filled with a variety of filings including red bean, custard, chocolate, etc. There are many souvenir shops selling this pastry.

 

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Luckily, we were able to find a shop that sold single Momiji Manjyus since I just wanted to give it a try. We got one filled with custard and it was very tasty! Worth giving a try! After having some snacks, we decided to head back to Hiroshima by ferry as it was getting late.

 

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We did some research and learned that the 2nd floor of Hiroshima Station is the ASSE restaurant floor and filled with okonomiyaki shops. Okonomiyaki is very famous in Hiroshima and a must try. The okomiyaki here is very different than Osaka style as the ingredients are layered rather than mixed. Honestly, I don’t remember which restaurant we visited since they all look the same. Just head into one that has a decent amount of locals! This one had yakisoba noodles.

 

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We also got another one which had yakiudon noodles. My favourite was the yakisoba as it is much lighter than the udon. These okonomiyaki’s are huge and is more than enough for one!

Overall, a nice day trip to Miyajima Island to relax and the next day we would visit the major attractions in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Station Asse – 2nd Floor (Okonomiyaki floor)
Address: 2-37 Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku