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In case you missed it, Part 1 of our Japan wrap up post is here.

Osaka: Dotonbori and Baseball
Once again rain was our welcome in Osaka, but clearing weather on our second day allowed us to get out and about.

We ventured to Dotonbori which is a shopping and food hub in Osaka.  While aiming to keep our backpacks light, shopping wasn’t high on the agenda but the delicacies of Okonomiyaki, Kushiage and Takoyaki lined the streets and made it well worth a visit.

Next on the Osaka agenda was a baseball game, a first for us in any country.  It was great fun. The crowd were one of the loudest (yet polite) that we’ve seen at any sporting event. A strange ritual halfway through the game was to inflate long balloons and let them fly into the air. We were gifted some from our neighbouring seats and got in on the action too. Unfortunately, the local team, the Tigers, lost to the visitors.

Special mention: Osaka Castle
An interesting stroll through the castle grounds, with its pristine gardens, gives an insight into feudal Japan.

Hiroshima: Miyajima and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
A short ferry ride from Hiroshima port is the island of Miyajima. It boasts the Itsukushima Shrine, the Floating tori gate, and Mount Misen. Not to mention around 500 cheeky deer who aren’t afraid to look in your bags for food when you aren’t paying attention. It is a relaxing spot with some fantastic landscape, and was a nice slow down from our busy trip.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and surrounding park was confronting and hopeful. The horrors of nuclear weaponry are balanced by a city, not angry, but optimistic for peace.

Special mention: Pachinko
Ok, so it isn’t exclusive to Hiroshima but it’s where we had a go. Reading guides before hand were no help – we immediately realised we couldn’t bluff our way through it like a poker machine in a pub back home…. we wasted ¥1,000 on that one and have possibly lost a small amount of our hearing – so loud!

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