My Sweet Escape : Hiroshima (17/10/2013)

The weather that morning was pretty much perfect. It was a cloudy day, and the sun is shining somewhere. It felt surreal, like I was dreaming, still can't believe that I was actually in Japan! So excited to start the journey. Today we headed down to Hiroshima, a city which once was destructed by atomic bombs during World War II.
Happy faces before starting the journey :)

We took the train from Inage station (which is the nearest train station from our house) to Tokyo station. The train we got on was incredibly crowded. Each new stop crammed more people on board. That's what you get when you're getting on a train during rush hour. People kept pushing you to let other people getting inside. We cannot move at all. Suffocated, I was. Now I feel you, sandwiches. After about 40 minutes later, we finally arrived. It was a relief to get off. 

We rushed to the Travel Service Center, located at the station itself, to exchange our JR pass voucher.  It took about 15 minutes to get it done. We were going to Hiroshima by shinkansen (bullet train). However, there's no direct shinkansen to Hiroshima. We had to go to Osaka (Shin-Osaka station) first and change for another shinkansen to Hiroshima. We reserved a seat for Shin-Osaka - Hiroshima shinkansen, just in case we were running late. Reservation is free of charge if you're using JR pass. We wanted to reserve a seat for Hikari 507 shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka, unfortunately it was fully reserved, so we had to get on the non-reserved cars. Thank God it wasn't crowded and we didn't have to stand at the aisle! Phew
While waiting for Shinkansen to Osaka.
Why thattt facee?

On our way to Shin-Osaka, we tried not to sleep so that we were able to see Mount Fuji (since the weather was so great). Too bad, I was so crushingly sleepy that I couldn't keep my eyes open. I slept peacefully all the way to Osaka. It was a 3 hour journey. We reached Osaka at 12 pm and searched for our next shinkansen, Sakura 557 to Hiroshima. One thing about Japan that I came to realise is that they're all VERY punctual. You're late for one second, the train will already gone. So we had to move fast!

It was 2.20 pm. We arrived at Hiroshima station, quickly went looking for コイン ラカー (coin locker) to store our backpacks. Then we took JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi. From Miyajimaguchi station we walked to the jetty and got into JR Miyajima ferry to Miyajima Island. It is a place not to be missed when visiting Hiroshima. This island has been regarded as an Island of Gods, and is well known for its floating shrine and Torii gate. It took a 5-minutes walk from the port to reach the shrine and the Torii gate. As we got off the ferry, we were greeted by herds of wild deer that were roaming around the street. Deer in Miyajima are called Nihonjika (Japanese deer) and are thought of as sacred in the native Shinto religion because they are considered messengers of the Gods. We took photos with the deer and it turns out that they were very tame! Tak gigit pun :) It wasn't a lucky day for us as the tide wasn't high enough to make the shrine and the Torii looked floating on the ocean. Le sigh. 

 It was almost 4 pm, and we need to rush! Again. We walked along the shopping street and tried the grilled oyster (500¥), which is one of their famous delicacies. And omg it tasted sooo good!! I can taste the freshness, really makes me drooling while typing this. After done eating, we walked fast to catch the ferry and got on the JR train to Hiroshima station. It was about 5 pm, and we headed to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which dedicated to the people who were killed in the atomic bombing on 1945, by foot. And we got lost. Haha. 

We tried to get help from an uncle working at a workshop nearby, and it's not working. We completely did not understand a word he was saying. Tried every languages, japanese, english, the sign laguage, and malay as well. Lol (not!) He then get help from a friend and his friend called another friend who can speak "eigo-wa" or english, just to help us getting the right direction. Terharu:') " Just 2 minutes, ok. Eigo-wa tomodachi blablabla " I only can understand eigo-wa haha. At first, we assumed that he wanted to send us to that place, but we were wrong. Haha. Yasu, the guy who can speak English very fluently came down, and explain the direction. He told us to take the tram to i-don't-recall-the-station. But the memorial park was already closed, he said :( He then took us to the tram stop not too far from the workshop. However, we decided not to go to the memorial park because, 1. it was already dark  ; 2. The park was already closed. We had a real quick chit-chat with Yasu and Tomo (the one who called Yasu earlier) and we bid goodbye to them. It was really nice to meet them. Should've asked for their facebook, but blerghh, we were too shy.

So, we headed back to the station and catched the shinkansen to Shin-Osaka. Our energy was all drained, and we need to have a good rest. We stayed in Taiyo Hotel in Osaka, which is near the Shin-Imamiya JR railway station. It's a budget hotel, well not really a hotel, it's more like a hostel. Because we had to share shower room and toilets with the whole occupants. The toilets and the shower was really clean, so that's okay with me. It took about 20 mins from Shin-Osaka to Shin-Imamiya station. I was really tired and hungry. The only food I had taken all day was the oyster. Imagine how hungry I was? We checked into the hotel at 9 pm. The room was made up of 2 futon beds (which is really comfy), with tatami floors. It smelt like herbs in the room. Haha.
Ready to sleep. lo. Oyasumi nasai, minna-san! :3
*Oh, they provide yukata in each rooms. In case you're wondering :)*

The Prologue

Stepping my foot on the land of Samurai was a dream came true. I've always anticipating to experience Japan since I was in high school. Of course, I was totally psyched when Wewe asked about travelling to Japan with her! The plan was to go there with only the two of us. But as the time passes, some of our friends said they wanted to join us. Woohoo

I promised myself to write a travelogue about our previous Japan trip. So, without further ado, let's get started!

Japan is always perceived as expensive, so it is not really a destination for tourist who needed a super cozy vacation. The hotels, food, transportations are very expensive. So in our case, we are bunch of penganggur, who travel with parents' money, really need to cut budget on food (especially) and the accommodation as well. We went there for 9 days, which is from 16 Oct to 24 Oct 2013.

We departed from LCCT at 2.45 pm and arrived at Tokyo-Haneda Airport at 11.45pm. As I reached the ground, I can barely feel my foot. It was so cold! And the air was so windy, well it's must due to the  'typhoon season', that strikes Japan recently.

We spent the night at Amin's house, a malaysian student studying there, the same house we'll be staying for the rest of our days in Tokyo. It was located in Chiba prefecture, which is about 40 - 50 mins from Tokyo. Amin fetched us at the airport and by the time we reached home, it was already 1.30 am. 

The next day going to be a longg day.