Japan Trip 2 – Day 5!

Well what a difference a day makes. I woke up this morning to blue skies, and birds singing. The typhoon had cleared Yakushima, and the weather was hot and sunny. It was exactly what I’d been hoping the last two days were going to be like!

After breakfast, my hopes for a swim were dashed as the pool was dirty with tree debris from the day before. But the electricity was back on, so I left a load of laundry running while I headed back to the villa to finish packing up. I was confident my flight to Fukuoka would leave today – there wasn’t a breeze in the air.

Quickly it was time to check out. The hotel insisted on only charging me half price for yesterday because of the typhoon. Honestly – the staff there were so kind of helpful, they felt like my friends even though I’d only been there a few days. Yamada gave me a lift to the airport – the same lady who’d picked me up four days ago – but which seemed like a month ago now! En route, she asked if I liked ice cream. Definitely! We pulled in to a small cabin by the side of the road. Called Sora Umi, this was a handy pit stop, as I wasn’t going to bother with lunch.

Inside, a lady stood making fresh gelato in the kitchen while a man served. The place was really cool – with hammocks and an outside seating area.

All the ice cream was made with local ingredients – so I had obviously had to have the tankan flavour (remember those oranges I liked?) and I paired it with dragon fruit. It was really fresh tasting and the perfect antidote to the sunshine outside.

Finally it was time to say goodbye to Yamada – and Yakushima – as we arrived at the airport. I managed to grab a photo inside this time to show how small it was.

The flight was pretty uneventful, and we landed in Fukuoka nearly bang on time.

That wasn’t where I was headed though. I caught a local train into Hakata station in Fukuoka, then caught a Shinkansen to Hiroshima. The city was one place I didn’t make on my last trip, so I was determined to experience it – even though I now only had one night and half a day rather than the two days and nights I originally planned.

As always, the Shinkansen got us in bang on time, and after navigating the massive station, I checked in at my hotel for the night.

Being aware I only had the evening to check out the culinary scene, I decided to make a bit of an effort and catch a bus to a place recommended in one of my guide books – Hassei. It’s known for Okonomiyaki – a kind of big omelette with fillings which I’d sampled in Osaka last year. Hiroshima apparently does it slightly differently though so I was looking forward to it. Then I had a bit of a nightmare. I knew which bus I had to catch to get there, but could I find the right bus stop at the bus station? There were about 15 different stops – all with numbers on them. But those numbers weren’t in any order – so they went 14, 6, 5, 8, 24, 9 (yes the numbers went higher than number 15) So knowing I needed bus no 29, I wandered around until I found a stop with 29 written on it. But then the sign on the stop said that stop was for buses 21 and 6.

After 15 minutes of utter confusion I eventually found the right stop – it was confusingly across the road from the bus station. Along came the bus, and after ten minutes or so I was about a ten minute walk from the restaurant. Random bit of Japanese trivia here – there aren’t any street names really in Japan. So finding someplace can be notoriously difficult. Most Japanese people would use a map to get somewhere they hadn’t been before. So anyway, I managed to find the restaurant yay! But can you spot what I didn’t in the listing below?

It was Monday. The restaurant was closed. Argh! By this point I was too tired to think really, so put McDonald’s into trusty google maps and off I went. I was excited to see an amazing looking burger with egg and bacon on it. Unusual I thought! I’ll try that!

This is what I got.

It was a sad ending to a very long day. However, every cloud! I noticed they were launching their Hallowe’en burger later this week. In a black bun. Look at this!

So yes, I will definitely be back!

I won’t bore you with the escapade of trying to find the bus stop for the way back to the hotel, but suffice to say it took ages to find as well. Time for bed!