If anyone has tried okonomiyaki in Australia, you may not have been all that impressed (I certainly didn't get what all the fuss was about). But proper Japanese okonomiyaki is pretty excellent. We went to a tiny little okonomiyaki restaurant round the corner from our hotel which looked as though it was run by one guy. He was incredibly smiley and helpful and welcoming, which has been our experience with more or less everyone we have met here, and though he had very limited English, and us with even more limited Japanese, we managed to order. Watching him cook was like watching an artist. Not only was he so attentive and careful with our dishes, but his restaurant was spotlessly clean. I have noticed that a lot here. No matter the size or value of something, the Japanese take immense pride and care in their work and property. It is wonderful to see. He served up our okonomiyaki and we charged through, nearly finishing the whole lot. It is a massive amount of food, basically a giant savoury pancake made of noodles, cabbage, pork, eggs and okonomiyaki sauce. Dad and I had squid with ours and it was quite delicious.
|My dinner. Mmmm.|
Sadly, the rain was constant, all day. Thankfully it wasn't heavy or too cold. We just put up our umbrellas and got on with it. Naoko was so grateful that we had come on the tour anyway, and was so pleased to inform us that the rain had not ruined the cherry blossom. Before I say anything else though, I just have to point out that Miyajima is positively overrun with wild deer. Wild deer, guys. They walk right up to you and stick their nose in your pocket looking for food and I nearly exploded in a fit of warm fuzzies. You could pat them. YOU COULD PAT THEM. I don't know if you were technically allowed to, but they walked right up to me and demanded it with their big Bambi eyes. Magic.
|Marnie's new friend|
|Five storied pagoda|
|View from Senjokaku|
Once we finished at the temple, our three hours with Naoko was up. She very kindly walked us back to the shopping street and helped us find a suitable restaurant. We then sat down and rested out feet and ate a big lunch of udon soups, curry and oysters, among other bits. I did try an oyster, and while I could appreciate the superiority of the taste, it wasn't completely for me, so Dad got to eat the rest. I practised a bit of my very shoddy Japanese, but again, the staff were so lovely and obliging that it wasn't a problem. After we finished lunch we did a quick shop up and down the street, bid farewell to my new Bambi friends, and got on the launch boat back to the marina. I Skyped with Sean (Hi Sean!) and then we went out - finally! - for ramen!! Yayyyyy!! It was tonkotsu ramen as well - my favourite type. It was even better than I expected and we left the restaurant stuffed full. We took the long walk back to the hotel, stopping at two bookshops along the way. I found a second hand copy of Peter Pan in Japanese so I bought that (that's the second Peter Pan I have bought on this trip!) and we got back to the hotel just in time to finish this blog and go to bed. Phew!